Bong Go seeks clarity on alleged pharma firm marketing operations, cites need to hear all sides to maintain public trust in the medical profession

Bong Go seeks clarity on alleged pharma firm marketing operations, cites need to hear all sides to maintain public trust in the medical profession

Most doctors are known to be very professional. Kaya nananatiling matatag ang tiwala ko sa mga doktor at mataas ang respeto ko sa medical profession. Napaka-sensitive ng trabaho nila kaya napakaimportante rin ang integridad sa kanilang propesyon,” Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said as he emphasized the need to uphold the integrity of the medical profession.

He said this in response to reports alleging that some doctors are financially involved in a pharmaceutical company based in Quezon City that have raised concerns on possible conflict of interest and alleged unethical practice within the medical community.

“Concerned tayo dahil ayaw nating dumating ang panahon na mawalan ng tiwala ang publiko sa mga reseta ng mga doctors natin, sa mga payo ng mga doctors natin, dahil lang umano sa ilang tiwaling indibidwal,” he clarified.

As the chair of the Senate Committee on Health and long-time advocate of people’s right to health, Go said his focus is to ensure that there will be no erosion of public confidence in prescriptions issued by our medical doctors.

“Alam natin ang dakilang sakripisyo nila araw-araw. At hindi natin mararating kung saan man tayo ngayon kung hindi dahil sa ginawa nilang kabayanihan noong pandemya, marami sa kanila ay nagbuwis pa nga ng buhay dahil tinamaan din sila ng COVID-19,” the senator stressed.

The Senate Committee on Health which Go chairs will be conducting another hearing on the state of public health services on April 30 which will tackle, among others, the alleged marketing operations of the yet unnamed pharmaceutical company.

“We are conducting this hearing precisely because we want to get to the bottom of this issue. We will listen to all sides.  Magiging fair tayo. And, more importantly, ginagawa natin ito dahil gusto nating proteksyunan ang vast majority ng mga doctors natin na matitino,” he said.

“Let us weed out the few bad apples from the many good ones, ika nga. Managot ang dapat lang managot,” he emphasized.

It is rumored that the pharmaceutical company is engaged in marketing operations where favored doctors, some of them allegedly owning some shares in the company, prescribe and aggressively encourage patients to buy prescription medicines manufactured by said company. Those who met the desired “sales quota” are said to be awarded with monetary perks, luxurious items, or sponsored foreign trips.

“Ayaw nating umabot pa sa punto na pagdudahan ng mga kababayan natin, lalo na yung mga kapos sa buhay, ang nirereseta sa kanila ng doktor nila kasi sasabihin na baka may commission dyan ang mga doctor. At dahil nagdududa na nga, ayaw na lang bumili ng gamot. Mas lalong lalala ang sakit, mas malaking gastusin yan ng pasyente at pati na rin ng gobyerno,” explained Go.

In a statement released on April 23, Go appealed to the DOH, Professional Regulation Commission, other agencies and medical professional societies to look into the matter too. “Hindi katanggap-tanggap kung may conflict of interest at paglabag sa ethical standards sa medical profession ang ganitong gawain dahil buhay ng kapwa Pilipino ang nakasalalay dito,” his statement said.

“Bilang chair ng Senate Committee on Health, interes kong masiguro na hindi nailalagay sa alanganin ang buhay at kalusugan ng mga kababayan natin, lalo na ang mga mahihirap na mga Pilipinong halos ayaw ngang magpatingin sa doktor dahil ultimo pamasahe at pambayad sa doctor’s fee ay wala,” he also added.

Since becoming a senator in 2016, Go had been vocal in his crusade against corruption and indifference to the plight of poor Filipinos. During his stint as the Special Assistant to the President, he led the formation of the Truth and Justice Coalition to help government combat irregularities by involving the private sector.

“Nangampanya tayo noon laban sa ‘pastillas’ scheme among our immigration personnel, mga scalawags sa hanay ng pulisya, korapsyon sa PhilHealth at iba pa dahil ayaw nating mawalan ng tiwala ang taumbayan sa kanilang gobyerno. Tayong mga nasa gobyerno, huwag nating hayaang mawala ang tiwala ng mga tao sa kanilang pamahalaan, sa mga institusyon ng lipunan, sa mga lehitimong propesyon. Kaya gawin natin ang ating trabaho,” he reiterated.

“Public health is a legitimate State interest. As legislators, it is our solemn duty to secure it and promote the welfare of our people,” Go finally said.

Follow SMNI NEWS on Twitter