Pharma group warns vs ‘artificial shortage’ of medical supplies due to hoarding

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 08 2020 08:36 PM

Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA--Pharmaceutical and medical supplies manufacturers on Wednesday warned against “over-stockpiling’ of medicines by patients, as the Philippines tackles the COVID-19 crisis. 

In a statement, the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) said the high demand for vitamins and specific medicines has led to an artificial shortage of these drugs. 

“While we understand concerns of patients, stockpiling beyond their current need for a given period will not help improve the medicine supply situation in the country,” the PHAP said. 

The industry group said people should buy only what they need so that vulnerable patients and at-risk groups are not left untreated. 

The PHAP added that its members are accelerating production to manage “a good level of inventory.” 

The group also called on the government to ensure unhampered transport and distribution of medicines and medical devices. 

“We also recommend the provision of alternative routes/support for the continued movement of these essential medicines in cases of port closures especially to and from Metro Manila,” the group said. 

Medicines should also be immediately released in ports because these are often urgently needed by hospitals and patients, and some medicines require cold storage to remain effective, PHAP said. 

The group also called on the government to provide an accurate forecast on the supply of medicines that will be needed to manage the COVID-19 epidemic so that PHAP members can ensure “equitable allocation of globally in-demand medicines” based on the real needs of affected countries.

PHAP said it is ready to work with the government in planning strategies for future public health emergencies.