Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Philippines, Superbug and Antibiotic Misuse

I'm not in the medical profession but I know that antibiotics should be used exactly as prescribed - both in dosage and number of days to take. This is due to the fact that the bacteria targeted by the antibiotics can develop immunity if not taken properly - this is what the 'Superbug' is all about.

I can't remember how I knew about the effects of antibiotic misuse, but I guess I heed my doctor's and my parents advice since I was a kid.

Some might actually think that the doctors are just saying such so that patients would spend more. Specially in the Philippines, any form of medication is equated with high cost or expense. So some would resort to cutting medical cost by only buying half of the dosage or half of the prescribed days by the doctor.

We can't really blame the people if they are poverty-stricken and their priority is having some money to buy their next meal. Sadly, they don't know that such practice can lead to the 'Superbug' and give them more problem in the future.

Therefore, education is very important. Those who misuse antibiotics should be informed how antibiotics should be properly taken and its ill effects if used otherwise.

This is where I salute the initiative of Watsons and Unilab.
Atty Jose Maria Ochave
Dr Rontgene Solante 
 (President, Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases)
Mr. Lyle Morrell
Robert Sun (Chief Operating Officer, Watsons Personal Care Stores (Phils), Inc.
In a recent press conference introducing their Compliance Pack, they revealed boxed set of packages of the most common (or Level 1) antibiotics to be made available to the public.

The antibiotics are usually in boxes of 21 capsules which translate to 7 days of antibiotic intake - the most common prescription for the common antibiotics. Packaging and selling it in boxes, in a way, enforces to the buyer that they should consume it as a set.

Watsons also highlighted that their medical staff in their pharmacies would extend their efforts in explaining to customers about the proper use of antibiotics during purchase.

Furthermore, printed educational materials are also provided as reinforcement in the pack.

In the press conference, I also learned a lot of things on the specifics of how the Superbug is developed and its dangers. Learn more about the Superbug here.
Moreover, I also learned that antibiotic misuse is not only implicated by the patients among themselves, but that sometimes, the doctors or medical professionals are also the culprit. They sometimes issue antibiotics unnecessarily - like the common Amoxycillin for virus-based colds and cough. Being a virus, antibiotics are basically ineffective for such.
Watsons' Medical Professionals

Good job Watsons and Unilab! And as part of the general public, let us continue to be vigilant and inform our families and friends about the dangers of Superbug and how to use antibiotics properly.


  1. Ask ko lang if how many percent yung drugs sold without prescription. cant seem to read it in the slide. its blurred. Thanks

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