Determinants and policy implications of drug utilization in the Philippines
Bautista, Ma. Cristina G.
MetadataShow full item record
The drug question has emerged as the central issue from which current health concerns in the Philippines are hinged on. With the formulation of the National Drug Policy and the legislation on the Generics Act, the supply of appropriate drugs --those of the right kind, quality and quantity which can be sold at reasonable prices--has been a key strategy of the government's health program. The highly charged discussions that accompanied the passage of the Generics Act into law indicate that the reorganization of the drug supply system to meet the people's needs is by no means an easy task. Much of the arguments have focused on the gap between the health needs of Filipinos and existing systems of pharmaceutical development, promotion, marketing and distribution. Yet, while much is known about the latter in the works of Gabunada (1983), Sepulveda and Meneses (1980), and Kintanar and Chanco (1979), discussions on household utilization of pharmaceuticals have received scant attention (Hardon 1987). Studies on pharmaceuticals have concentrated on the supply side or the industry level and little is known about the demand side. A study on drug consumption behavior is necessary to anticipate the likely effects of policies on the users. While policies are seen as regulations on the industry and the prescriber, it is private or household consumption patterns that are of interest in terms of welfare. The decision algorithm of households in relation to pharmaceuticals provides insights into general household healthseeking behavior.