PGMA to launch 15000th BnB in Iloilo

PIA Press Release 2009/09/23

PGMA to launch 15000th BnB in Iloilo

Iloilo City (23 September) -- From her successful trips to Turkey, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to proceed in this province today, September 24, for the launching of the 15,000th Botika ng Barangay (BnB) in the country at Brgy. Tiring in the municipality of Cabatuan.

Launched in 2003, the BnB formed part of President Arroyo's efforts to reduce the cost of medicines commonly bought by the poor to half of their 2001 prices and make them available nationwide through the "Half-Priced Medicines Program".

Based on the record of the Department of Health, as of September 22, 2009, a total of 14,999 BnBs are established in various parts of the country.

The same record showed that DOH Center for Health Development (CHD) I-La Union has established 1,061 BnBs; CHD II-Cagayan Valley, 400;CHD III-Central Luzon, 1,679; CHD-IV-A Calabarzon, 1,621; CHD IV-B Mimaropa, 885; CHD V-Bicol, 374; CHD VI-Iloilo City, 1,604; CHD VII-Cebu City, 663;CHD VIII- Tacloban City, 801; CHD IX-Zamboanga City, 595; CHD X-Cagayan de Oro City, 985; CHD XI-Davao City, 750; CHD XII-Cotabato City, 357; CHD-CAR, 608; CHD-NCR, 613; CHD-CARAGA, 367; and ARMM, 283.

There are also 892 Kabalikat ng Botika Binhi (KBBI) outlets and 462 pharmacies by the National Pharmaceutical Foundation established nationwide according to the DOH.

The KBBI are funded by the members of the Peso for Health with counterpart from the local government unit.

The DOH, in coordination with the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) was tasked to lead the distribution network of medicines being sold at the BnB outlets.

Medicines that can be accessed at BnBs are low-priced generic over-the counter drugs and other prescription drugs such as for diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

According to Ed Vreeke, GTZ-EC consultant, for BnBs, assessed that have been operating for at least 2 years, some 85 percent remain functional serving around 500 patients per month per outlet. Earnings from the BnB run to an average of P14,000 per year. (PIA) - Timeline 2009