By GENALYN KABILING
The government is planning to file economic sabotage charges against persons behind the proliferation of counterfeit medicines in the country.
President Duterte has ordered the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the production and sale of fake medicines due to the threats posed on public health and the economy.
The crackdown on fake medicines was authorized by the President last Tuesday night, according to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
“The President ordered the PNP (Philippine National Police) Chief (Ronald dela Rosa) to arrest persons who manufacture, import, trade, administer, dispense, deliver, distribute, fake drugs and charge them with economic sabotage,” Panelo said.
“The purchase and use of the fake medicines, including fake paracetamol, poses potential danger or injury to consumers,” he added.
Aside from the health risks, Panelo warned about the economic repercussions of the proliferation of fake medicines.
He said counterfeit medicines could affect the supply and demand of such commodity, and consequently disrupt the stability of prices.
“The scale at which the pharmaceutical industry of the Philippines may be affected can also result in considerable loss of government revenues, specifically in the form of taxes,” he said.