Drugs are among the most powerful tools available to doctors today. They can successfully combat life-threatening diseases and bring relief to sufferers from innumerable disorders. For most of us, taking drugs and medicines prescribed by the doctors or bought over the counter is a common experience. Yet, few of us are aware of why drugs are prescribed, how they work, and what potential dangers they represent.
Prescription drugs are distinguished by the fact that they require the authorization and supervision of a physician for their use. This authorization is usually given in the form of a written prescription which is made after a physician has determined that a person has a specific condition that will benefit from taking a specific drug. The prescriptions issued by physicians are considered to be very important in terms of its use for the patient. It is an official document which indicates the name of the drug, the dosage, the quantity of the drug to be issued under that prescription and very specific instructions for its use. Therefore, directions in the prescriptions should be clear and handwriting should be legible, among others. These aspects in the issuance of prescriptions to patients have a significant impact on the health of patients and consumers. More than anything else, it must be noted that errors within the prescriptions are risks to human health since prescription drugs must be carefully taken in with the appropriate directions. Moreover, the authority of the physicians to recommend a medical drug also depends on the prescriptions they issue.
The Right to Health of everyone is guaranteed both in international conventions and domestic laws.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution under Article 13, Section 11 states,
“There shall be priority for the needs of the under-privileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers.”
The United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UN-ICESCR) also stressed the right to health of everyone. Article 12.2-D emphasized, “The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness”.
However in spite of these state guarantees and conventions, quality and affordable healthcare remain elusive for Filipinos.
Isang hapon matapos ang pamimigay ng mga lobbying paraphernalia sa loob ng Kongreso, lumapit sa akin ang isa sa mga lola na kasapi ng aming multi-sectoral network.
“Sana ipasa na nila ngayon ang bill natin, makunsensya naman sila.”
Natigilan ako at nag-isip kung paano ko sasagutin ang kanyang komento. Nagkasya na lamang ako sa pagsasabing, "Sana nga po‚ Nay.“
Ika-5 na ito ng Hunyo, isang araw bago tuluyang magtapos ang ika-13 na Kongreso. Tulad ng ibang mga panukalang batas na nalimot at naiwang nakabinbin sa mababang kapulungan, ang House Bill No. 6035 o mas nakilala bilang Cheaper Medicines Bill, ay mistulang mababaon din kasama nang kasaysayan ng ika-13 Kongreso.
At hindi nga ako nag-kamali. Isang buwan at mahigit matapos ang hindi pag pasa ng Cheaper Medicines Bill, mainit pa rin ang talakayan kung bakit nga ba ang isang panukalang batas, na bukod sa benepisyong pampubliko ay Certified Urgent din ni Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ay hindi nakapasa sa mababang kapulungan.