Residents of Quezon City can no longer self-medicate for tuberculosis, after Mayor Herbert Bautista recently signed into law an ordinance preventing drugstores from selling anti-TB drugs without a doctor’s prescription.
District 3 Councilor Eufemio Lagumbay authored Ordinance No. 2545, titled the “No Prescription, No Dispensing of Anti-TB Drugs Policy,” to enforce locally a national policy in dispensing prescription medication, which includes anti-TB drugs, over the counter.
The measure also makes it imperative for pharmacies “to equip their personnel with the necessary skill and competence to help TB patients get access to the correct and complete TB treatment.”
The ordinance cited a Department of Health order and Republic Act 10918, or the amended Pharmacy Law.
Section 1 of DoH Administrative Order No. 64, Series of 1989, prohibits the dispensing of identified foods, drugs, devices and cosmetics without prescription.
Section 22 of Republic Act 10918, or the Act Regulating and Modernizing the Practice of Pharmacy in the Philippines, clearly states that prescription medicines may be dispensed “only by a duly registered and licensed pharmacist and only with the valid prescription of physician, dentist or veterinarian.”
The ordinance recognizes the effects of self-medication or indiscriminate use of anti-TB drugs that could lead to the development of multi-drug resistance, as well as other health complications.
The measure highlights the city government’s continuing effort to make Quezon City a TB-free community, Bautista and Lagumbay said. It carries a penal provision, including fines and permanent closure of the establishment found violating provisions of the ordinance.
Under the measure, the City Health Department and the Business Permits and Licensing Office are tasked to implement the ordinance.