Wednesday, April 06, 2011

PH Pharmacists 1: Convention in Naga

This afternoon, I am going to Naga City, Camarines Sur, Bicol region. There is an on-going Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPhA) National Convention there, today until Friday. Tomorrow morning, I will be one of the panel speakers and I will speak on "Patient Rights and Responsibilities: Patient perspective".

I thanked Ms. Leonie Ocampo, the current President of PPhA, and Ma'am Mita Leyesa, the immediate past President of PPhA, for inviting me as one of their speakers. I kidded them that since the title of my book is Health Choices and Responsibilities, and I will speak on Patient Rights and Responsibilities, I can just copy-paste some of the things that I wrote in the book and present to the audience :-)

I have known Ma'am Mita (2nd from right) and Leonie (4th from right) since two years ago, at the various health fora and at the DOH Advisory Council on Price Regulation. They read my papers on health policy, they said they like my ideas. This picture I took from their website photo gallery.

They know how subversive my mind and ideas are, on the role and misrule of certain government interventions, on the potentials and limits of markets. They are risking their professional stature for inviting me as a speaker because I might turn my subversive mind on them :-)

See you PPhA guys tonight and tomorrow.

I wrote this last August 25, 2010:

A Night with Filipino Pharmacists

In the various discussions on drug price control policy of the Philippine government, like at the DOH Advisory Council on Price Regulation, I have met some of the top leaders of the Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPhA). I have befriended them, and would occasionally ask some data from them, which I used for some of my articles on the subject. 

Last Friday, August 20, the PPhA celebrated its 90th anniversary and appreciation night, and a day before that, I was invited by its current President, Mrs. Leonila "Leonie" Ocampo, to join them. Leonie is a good friend and I have asked some data from her on the price-controlled drugs from her drugstore chain. So when Leonie invited me, I immediately said Yes.

They gave a special award to several personalities that night, like the immediate past President, Dr. Normita Leyesa, and DOH USec Alex Padilla. Top officials of some drugstores, big and small, were also there.

In this picture, Leonie beside me, 3 officers and members of PPhA, and Ms. Leyesa at extreme right. In the dinner table, I have also met some academics -- Deans and faculty members of the College of Pharmacy of some universities here.

The event was held at the Bayanihan Center of United Laboratories (UL or Unilab), the biggest pharma company in the country, a local firm, with sales probably equivalent to the combined sales of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th biggest pharma companies here, all multinationals -- GSK, Pfizer and... I forgot the 4th one. It was the first time that I set foot on UL compound too. From the size of the compound alone, UL is indeed a giant corporation in the pharma industry. Here, a picture of Mr. Jose Campos, UL founder.

I am thankful to Leonie, also Ma'am Normita, for the opportunity to join them that night.

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