Sari-sari stores should be prohibited from selling medicines, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Thursday as it expressed worries over the proliferation of fake drugs.
Only pharmacies and retail outlets registered with the Food and Drug Administration are allowed to sell medicines under the law, DILG Sec. Eduardo Año said as he urged local government units to pass ordinances to prohibit sari-sari stores from selling drugs.
“LGUs should protect the health and general welfare of their constituents. We, therefore, urge LGUs to ensure that sari-sari stores within their jurisdictions are not selling any medicine because under the law, hindi sila awtorisado,” Año said in a statement.
Over-the-counter drugs such as paracetamol can easily be bought in sari-sari stores and convenience stores across the Philippines.
The FDA earlier this week reported that it received over 100 reports of sari-sari stores illegally selling medicines at the height of the omicron-fueled COVID-19 surge last month.
To avoid buying fake medicines, the DILG urged the public to purchase only from legitimate pharmacies.
"...Kapag bibili tayo ng kahit anong medisina, napakaimportante na doon lamang tayo sa tiyak na mula sa legal manufacturers,” DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said.