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Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008

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According to a national survey on prices of medicines in the Philippines, It was noted that pharmaceuticals are expensive in the Philippines in comparison to prices in neighboring countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia (Batangan et al, 2005).

According to research and consulting firm GlobalData, the Philippine pharmaceutical market is set to experience a moderate rise from $3.4 billion in 2015 to $4.1 billion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate of 3.7%. It also states that the Filipino pharmaceutical market, which is the third-largest in the Association of Southeast Nations, behind Indonesia and Thailand, will be driven by factors including the government’s encouragement of generic substitution in the public and private sectors, and strong patent and trademark laws to help protect innovation and encourage foreign investment in the healthcare market.

With the growing presence of the generics market and the government’s drive for easy access to affordable medicines, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare practitioners, pharmacists and patients had to face the challenge of these regulatory transformations.

However, the Generic law failed to effectively encourage the extensive use of generic prescribing by medical practitioners. Generic drugs, though cheaper than their branded counterparts, do not sell due to customers’ lack of information on generic drugs safety and efficiency

Furthermore, the establishment of village Botika ng Barangays (BnBs) – government-licensed pharmacies which are privately owned and operated – provides drugs at lower prices and improves access to medicine for people in rural areas. The number of BnBs increased from about 2,000 in 2010 to over 7,700 in 2014, encouraging the private sector to enter the market. In terms of structure, generic drugs dominate the pharmaceutical market, accounting for 65% of its revenue in 2014, while patented drugs accounted for 35% of the market.

In a study by Sewell et al in the United States revealed that barriers to generic medicine use included beliefs about generic medicines having lower safety and efficacy.

Ona (2013) cited that the long list of discrepancies and inefficiencies from the manufacture, distribution, pricing, prescription and using of regular drugs prompted the government to institute a comprehensive national policy on pharmaceutical production and consumption. Generic drugstore Generics Pharmacy leads the pack with 1,300 branches nationwide, followed by Generika and Botika Pinoy. Thus, the generic medicines’ awareness level for Greater Manila Area was placed at 65 percent, with Luzon at 48 percent and the Visayas and Mindanao at 53 percent (Herrera as cited by Sauler, 2013).

This thesis will study community pharmacists’ experiences, patients’ trust in interchangeable medicines.

However, A big challenge in the pharmaceutical industry is

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