Thursday, June 16, 2005

cheap medicines

A drug company yesterday sought to improve the Filipino capacity to buy quality medicines by launching five essential medicines under their low-cost drug program.

Drugmaker Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) announced the five new drugs in its value health program.

These are anti-ulcer drugs Axid and Zantac and antibiotics Ceclor (originally cefaclor), Ilosone (originally erythromycin), and Keflex (originally Cefalexin). These medicines have been reduced to as much as 34 percent from its original price and can be bought in any drugstore nationwide.

Daisy Sembrano, GSK commercial head, explained that last year, they launched the value health program and included nine essential medicines in the list of drugs with reduced prices. Among these are Amoxil (originally amoxicillin, an antibiotic), Plasil (for nausea and vomiting), and Rifamax suspension (for treatment of pediatric tuberculosis).

"We looked at the Department of Health’s list of common diseases and that’s where we based our list of medicines under the value health program," Sembrano said.

GSK will also be launching a value health card later this year. It is a discount card to be used to purchase drugs for asthma, diabetes, and hypertension.

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