The Dangerous Drugs Board now allows the use of ordinary prescription for medical preparations containing dangerous drugs.
In an advisory issued on May 15, the DDB considered the declaration of public health emergency as a compelling reason to relax the rules on prescription of dangerous drugs for legitimate medical needs.
For the duration of the State of Public Health Emergency in the country pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 922, an ordinary prescription in triplicate copies may now be used in lieu of the Special Prescription Form for Dangerous Drugs (SPFDD) also known as Yellow Prescription in prescribing dangerous drugs registered with the Food and Drug Administration.
According to DDB Chairman Secretary Catalino S. Cuy, this advisory was issued to ensure that access to medical preparations containing dangerous drugs by patients with legitimate medical needs will not be hampered.
He however, clarified that while the policy is being introduced with flexibility, strict monitoring will continue to be implemented. He also issued a warning against anyone who will misuse prescriptions for medical preparations containing dangerous drugs since DDB regulations have penal provisions that could hold violators accountable and criminally liable.
Reminding the Public to Remain Vigilant Amid the MECQ
The DDB also calls on LGUs to conduct a thorough background check and monitor individuals authorized as front liners and volunteers, and those with passes while the MECQ is in effect.
This comes after an incident where police officers arrested a barangay volunteer who has allegedly used his front liner ID to sell illegal drugs.
“We continue to recognize our community volunteers who risk their lives to help deliver essential needs to the public. However, we also condemn and issue a stern warning to those who use this as disguise to engage in various illegal activities,” Secretary Cuy said.
He assured the public that authorities remain on top of the situation and will not let anyone get away with this modus. “I am enraged that some people will take advantage of the current situation just to continue their illegal drug activities. We are in a middle of a public health emergency due to COVID-19 and those illegal drugs reaching users will aggravate the health risk they face,” Secretary Cuy added.
Amid the strict implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), law enforcement agencies were able to seize more than 23,000 grams of shabu and 123,000 grams of dried marijuana leaves from 1,623 anti-drug operations conducted from March 15 to April 21.
While a significant decrease in crime rate was noted as reported by the Philippine National Police, DDB believes that authorities must not let their guard down and continue the conduct of anti-drug operations.
“A decrease in the crime rate is a positive development. We encourage law enforcers to continue with the strict law enforcement measures to fully suppress illegal drug activities in the country,” Cuy said.
The DDB also appealed to the public to report suspected illicit activities taking place in their communities, “We call on the citizens to stay vigilant and report to the authorities if they suspect an illegal drug activity is going on in their community,” DDB Chairman Cuy said.
He also mentioned that “authorities receiving reports and other vital information will investigate the matter and act on their concern amidst the implementation of protocols under the State of Public Health Emergency.”