Thursday, July 25, 2013

Universal Health Care and Access to Medicine - A Policy Dialogue

TheDepartment of Health (DOH) today declared that an improved access toinexpensive and quality medicines is a critical component of this administration’sUniversal Health Care agenda.

“Universal access to medicine is anindispensible component of Universal Health Care or Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP); hence, we will pursue measures toimprove access to medicines,” said Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona, adding thatthis has been a resounding battle cry not only by the Department but also byindividuals, institutions and sectors that are pushing for KP in the country.

In this light, the DOH, with attachedagencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Philippine HealthInsurance Corporation, and  its academicpartner the Asian Institute of Management Dr. Stephen Zuellig Center for AsianBusiness Transformation, is holding a two-day policy dialogue on “UniversalHealth Care and Access to Medicine” starting today at the Asian Institute ofManagement.

This dialogue brings together public healthpractitioners, clinicians, academicians, regulators, policy-makers, privatesector decision-makers and civil society members. This forum will identifygaps, brainstorm ideas to provide possible solutions in ensuring the universalaccess of medicine in the country.

The dialogue aims to provide the proper perspectiveto the participants by presenting the pharmaceutical landscape in the country;allow appreciation on the value of access to medicine as a component of KP; and ultimately, promote a wholegovernment-community approach in achieving KP.

Furthermore, a roster of credible speakersand panelists were invited to provide insights and deeper understanding ontopics significant to the improvement of medicine access in achieving KP that includes current governmentreforms, sectoral innovations, and pharmaceutical pricing.

“It is with much hope that initiatives likethis can produce ripples that would continue to spur more than just discussionsbut concrete actions that would make our goal of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan a reality sooner,” the health chiefconcluded.

Formore information, contact Dr. Melissa Guerrerro of the National Center forPharmaceutical Access & Management at 0917-6324437.

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