News Release

5 local drug manufacturers to produce anti-tuberculosis medicine following PBBM’s directive — PSAC

Five local drug manufacturers have signed up to participate in the production of anti-tuberculosis medicines in response to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s call for the local manufacture of anti-TB and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs to combat the dreaded diseases, the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Health Sector Group said on Thursday.

“We are very proud of the collaboration with DOH (Department of Health), [the] focus on TB and HIV, which are two of our more dreaded diseases and increasing in terms of numbers of cases,” said Paolo Borromeo, the PSAC Healthcare Sector Lead, during the 5th PSAC Health Sector Group meeting in Malacañang with President Marcos.

“We are happy to say that five local drug manufacturers signed up to participate in the production of anti-TB medicines, and to participate in national bids to be conducted by the DOH. In fact, I believe there was a bid last November and we are waiting for the results,” Borromeo, who is also the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc., said.

He noted that historically, many local manufacturers do not bid in the production of anti-TB medicines but with the President’s directive and the reforms put in place, five local manufacturers have committed to produce the anti-TB medicines, as well as join the procurement bids. Borromeo added that they are just awaiting the results.

Similar initiatives will be done for HIV because those are the two administration priorities, he noted.

Other PSAC-Health Sector members present were Sabin Aboitiz, PSAC Strategic Convenor and President and CEO of Aboitiz Equity Ventures; Fr. Nicanor Austriaco Jr., Professor, University of Santo Tomas; Mario Silos, President of the Association of HMOs in the Philippines, Clinton Campos-Hess, President and CEO of United Laboratories and Dr. Harish Pillai, President and CEO of Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc.

Borromeo, expressed elation for getting the support of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) following a request for a green lane program especially for the anti-TB and HIV medicines.

The PSAC said there are about 24 manufacturers that expressed readiness to produce anti-TB drugs but only one for HIV medicines.

PSAC made a commitment to assist local drug manufacturers that will produce first-line anti-TB/HIV drugs in the country, as well as help facilitate the continued implementation of the green lane program. It will also ensure the consistent implementation of domestic bidder preference.

The President made previous directive to the DOH and the FDA to work with the private sector in identifying medicines that can be produced locally to bring down the cost and ensure steady supply. PND