The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called for local ordinances prohibiting sari-sari stores from selling medicines in an attempt to stop the distribution of fake medicines in the country.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Talk to the People” address on Monday, FDA officer in charge Oscar Gutierrez said his agency was planning to talk with local government units (LGUs) about crafting such ordinances.

“Actually po ang sari-sari store mayroon po silang license to operate from the local government. So we would like sana to work with the LGU para maybe they can pass an ordinance na ‘yung mga sari-sari store do not buy or carry medicine,” Gutierrez said.

“Itong nakaraan na buwan, iyong mga drugstore wala tayong nakita na confirmed na selling na fake medicine, wala po. Dito lang po tayo nakakita sa mga sari-sari store,” Gutierrez said.

In his report to the president, Gutierrez said 78 sari-sari stores were found selling medicines in violation of the country’s Pharmacy Law from Jan. 13 to Feb. 11.

Of the number, Gutierrez said nine were confirmed to be selling fake medicines, which were mostly Covid-19 related.

“Dito naman po kasi sa sari-sari store, FDA thinks po na ‘yung sari-sari store po kasi are also victims,” Gutierrez said.

To avoid purchasing fake medicines, Gutierrez told the public to only buy medicines from FDA-approved outlets. John Ezekiel J. Hirro