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February 16, 2009


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Noel Maurer

It isn't quite true to say that there is no antitrust law in the P.I. Article 186 of the Revised Penal Code defines and bans combinations in restraint of trade. The Price Act bans cartels and "abusive" price increases. Similarly, the Corporation Code of 1980 and Revised Securities Act of 1982 have both been used to block the creation of interlocking directorates.

What there isn't is a unifed competition authority charged with enforcement of the existing laws. So what you get are ad hoc legal actions, some successful, most not. (Frex, the Supreme Court blocked an attempt by the owner of Asia Brewery, John Gokongwei, to get himself onto the board of San Miguel. Later, in 1997, the Court blocked an attempt by Petron, Caltex and Shell to cartelize the gasoline market.) It isn't good.

But I don't think one can accurately claim that there's /no/ competition law in the Philippines. Just very poorly enforced law.

Bernard Guerrero

Complete aside, but it seems to me that the similarity of oxytocin to vasopressin must mean something in evolutionary terms. Anyway.

The lower end of the distribution chain looks more concentrated (HHI basis), but it's high overall. Any evidence of collusive behavior (that they'll show you)?


Some countries are more relaxed than the United States in terms of what drugs can be sold over the counter without prescription. In Mexico, for example, many antibiotics are sold OTC. What's the situation like in the Philippines?

Doug M.

Legally, you need a scrip for all ethical products. In reality, anything that's not a narcotic or CNS active is de facto OTC -- you just have to know what to ask for.

Doug M.

aragorn (not the real name)


I believe the country can have capability of running an API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) plant. Our politicians are giving our very own pharma market (in which filipino-owned businesses, jobs etc. depend on) to India. Sooner or later, we will lose jobs, opportunities to India (as the next superpower maybe next to China in the years to come).We need to manufacture our own since we can spur business in the pharma sector, rely less on import and instead, do exportation if ever we achieve good quality.

The philippine pharma market is 1/3 of India and relatively higher in Indonesia considering the population. So obviously in the ASEAN market, our country is the top pick for growth from both Big pharma and Indian generics. Also, we have the highest growth in the market. Plus, we have the highest cost of medicines!! so really, its a good deal to enter.

We have capabilities and talent. These talents should be recalled since maybe most of them are abroad or maybe some have come back now in RP. (I know people working in US,canada or singapore for pharma manufacturing). After earning well abroad, these researchers, scientists, engineers etc. will GO back (wink) to our country to settle for good and to share what they have learned for the good of their fellowmen.

If we have a pharma active plant, we will provide jobs for people. There will always be jobs there since medicines are essential products. The retrenchments in the Big pharma around the globe are the result of patent expiration of blockbuster drugs and so much research with less results. In our case, we will just be producing what is needed, the current drugs that are sold in the market..so it should be constant. It is a metter of cost reduction rather than making a headway for pharma manufacturing. But once we establish a plant, we can spur growth to export. now thats another story since in terms of hygiene and cleanliness, we can be sure ahead of India/ China. We can even convince the Big pharma to invest in these plant if they have the quality and talent for producing those. I know some local pharma manufacturers (tablet etc. manufacturer) who make for the Big pharma. Why not the upstream API plant?

For talent, thats another thing. But talent can be grown. Training..The only problem is, its a huge investment. But in the long run, it will be benificial. Besides, all business should have investments.
but the talent issue is a small thing. the investment is the big problem. If a leader in our country can solve that, then he can help a lot of people and help our country.

The technology for API plant is more difficult, complicated, hazardous than the secondary manufacturing (tablets ,capsules etc). Also, it is costlier because of the cGMP (current good manufacturing practics) set by US FDA. It is almost like a chemical plant (fine chemicals etc) but with strict restrictions on safety and cleanliness since the products are taken by humans.

I am only worried about the politicians becuase they will always make money out of it when they approve indian medicines to enter the country. Its not actually helping the people..

I can tell this because I have a pharma experience in pharma processing (both upstream and downstream). Which means i am capable in making an active and at the same time, the tablet etc, plus a few other facilities of making it..I am an advocate of this since this is one of the few things I can help my countrymen.


Hi Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, a cool site I like

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