Home “Doc, were you born yesterday?” Tulfo, Herbosa clash over branded medicine 

“Doc, were you born yesterday?” Tulfo, Herbosa clash over branded medicine 

doc were you born yesterday tulfo herbosa clash over branded medicine 

MANILA, PHILIPPINES –Senator Raffy Tulfo and Health Secretary Ted Herbosa argued Tuesday about expensive medicines individuals take without consent while under confinement.

During Tuesday’s Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Tulfo asked Herbosa why hospital patients are given expensive medicines without informing them about the price.

Herbosa said that sometimes branded pharmaceutical corporations win public bidding for drugs in public hospitals. He claimed government hospitals sometimes prescribe branded drugs because generics don’t work.

“Ang only reason I can give as a doctor is cause there are cases nung nag pa-practice po ako, may cases na generic ang binili ng hospital pero hindi siya clinically effective… nice-report namin yon sa procurement service and that’s the reason why some hospitals will carry the branded because the efficacy clinically is different at may ganong mga observations,” Herbosa explained.

Herbosa’s explanation, however, was rejected by Tulfo, who claimed that some doctors prescribe branded medicines in exchange for perks from pharmaceutical companies. Tulfo also claimed that there are doctors who do not prescribe generic drugs at all.

In defense, Herbosa cited the “Mexico Protocol,” which bars doctors from taking pharmaceutical company gifts. The Health Secretary said the policy, which the Philippines signed, charges pharmaceutical corporations that are found giving favors to doctors.

Doc, hindi ko na matiis po. Were you born yesterday?” Tulfo asked.

Hindi po! Alam ko yan. Nangyayari yung junket nung araw, pero sinasabi ko po,” Herbosa said.

“This practice violates the code of ethics of the medical profession for doctors because, number one, it affects the autonomy of giving patients the best and most affordable healthcare. In a way, number two exploits patients for the doctor’s personal gain. Number three, it does not improve access to equitable healthcare,” Tulfo said.

“Mr. Chair, we welcome if there are charges against doctors or cases against them should be filed with the Professional Regulations Commission,” Herbosa said.

“Let me finish first, please. Ang question ko po sa inyo, Mr. Secretary, do you still stand by your word na wala nang junket, yes or no?” Tulfo asked.

Tulfo then pressed Herbosa to file appropriate charges against erring doctors. Herbosa also vowed to investigate doctors who pharmaceutical companies were allegedly using.


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