The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), representing the research-based medicines and vaccines sector in the country, expresses full support to the Department of Trade’s priority agenda to promote the development and growth of Health and Life Sciences in the country.
As a science-driven industry, PHAP and its members have extensive experience and expertise in the research and development of life-saving biopharmaceuticals which is crucial in improving health outcomes and driving economic progress.
Under the able leadership of DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, PHAP is confident that the Philippines could position itself as regional hub for biopharmaceutical innovation. PHAP Members are in the forefront of research and development and distribution of not only diagnostics, vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 but more so of other diseases that impact Filipinos.
“We share in the vision of the DTI to establish a vibrant biopharmaceutical industry. We are eager to share our expertise to accelerate the attainment of this goal for us to better prepare for and respond to current and future emergencies while at the same time sparking economic activities. We commit to partner with the DTI to reap the health, scientific and economic benefits that come with research and development (R&D) investments,” said PHAP Executive Director Teodoro B. Padilla.
Biopharmaceutical research and development is a long, complex and expensive process composed of various stages with the ultimate goal of finding safe and efficacious diagnostics, vaccines and medicines.
“The Philippines can be part of the actual research and development process by using its various stages as our entry point. The country is currently an active participant in the conduct of clinical trials, and we are eager to partner to see more of these R&D activities in the Philippines. When we participate in global clinical trials, we are creating early access to innovation, bringing in major investments, and building the scientific capacity of fellow Filipinos to pursue pharmaceutical R&D,” said Dr. Diana Edralin, PHAP President and Roche Philippines General Manager.
The Philippines earlier ranked third in the number of clinical trials conducted in Southeast Asia following Thailand and Singapore.
At present, PHAP is the DTI’s designated lead in the Industry Strengthening Working Group created to develop and realize the Integrated Roadmap of the Philippine Pharmaceutical Industry.
“We commend DTI Secretary Pascual for prioritizing health and life sciences development. Filipinos are experts in the medical field, and are proficient in the use of the English language. We will work with the DTI and related agencies for us to build capacity and foster an environment conducive to innovation to make available life-saving biopharmaceuticals for Filipinos and even to people in neighboring countries in the long term,” said Dr. Beaver Tamesis, PHAP Chairman Emeritus.
PHAP is keen to continue working with the DTI to pursue pandemic recovery and foster pharmaceutical security for an uninterrupted supply of life-saving medicines, vaccines and diagnostics amidst global demand or political instability in other regions.
“We have learned several lessons from the pandemic that could help enhance the supply chain. We are determined to learn from these lessons as we continue to face the uncertainties being brought by COVID-19, and as we prepare for new global health and political developments. Foremost is the importance of close partnerships with the government because we recognize from the outset that no one sector can do it alone,” said Jannette Jakosalem, PHAP Vice President and Market Managing Director for Zuellig Pharma in the Philippines.
At the height of the pandemic, PHAP Members closely collaborated with the government in monitoring the supply of needed medicines, and even chartered flights to make these life-saving innovations available to Filipino patients amidst global demand and strict lockdowns.