Medication in the Philippines

Good morning everyone,

Whether it's a simple cold or a chronic illness, medication and medicine use vary from country to country and culture to culture.

When you are used to certain brands or types of drugs, being in a country like the Philippines with different rules can affect your daily well-being.

Some drugs also differ in name, price, dosage, active molecule, so we would like to hear your opinion on these issues:

Have you ever had difficulties finding familiar or useful medicines for your health in your host country?

Have you ever been faced with a shortage of medicines in the Philippines?

Would you have said that in the Philippines drugs are more or less expensive than in your home country? Do you find them more or less effective or of similar quality?

What is the place of alternative medicines in your host country? Have you ever used them?

Thank you in advance for your feedback,

Loïc

My medicine warchest when i was employed/retrenced upto end'2018.
It was under company prescription
Approx SGD $250/mth!
I stopped ever since then (1.5yrs) & only take cloves of RAW Garlic....I've lost 8kgs since then, but I still feel good & all previous symptoms are gone for now! (Maybe its my woman!!)  :D
A) Ezetrol (10mg) Ezetimbie
(Every Night 1pc)
B) Crestor (20mg) Astrazeneca
(Every Other Night 1pc)
C) Nebilet (5mg) Nebivolol
(Every Morning 1pc)
D) Hepavite (Red Vitamin Capsule)
Shine (Every Morning 1pc)

Cheers

Good thing in the Philippines is that many drugs which require a prescription in the USA are over the counter here.  For me specifically Metformin and Amlodipine Besylate are about the same price as in the USA  and just as effective  The local generic for Amlodipine Besylate is 3 pesos/pill while the regular price is 14 pesos/pill.

Two of the biggest health issue in the Philippines are hypertension and diabetes.

My in law was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and so was my wife.

White rice is a big contributor to the prevalence of diabetes.

Both of them cut out white rice and replaced it with brown or red rice.

My in law was prescribed a special diet by an alternative medicine practitioner in Manila that consists of the following:

- siling labuyo on everything
- no red meat or chicken - only fish
- red rice
- ampalaya (bitter melon)
- chayote
- camachile (a kind of tamarind)
- no added salt
- no added sugar
- lots of water
- lots of other fruits and vegetables
- coffee is ok
- no alcohol

His blood sugar and cholesterol resolved to very good levels.

I tried eating the brown and red rice but I can only handle it a couple of meals per week, because it works too well.

The bitter melon I have tried to choke down, but it is too much for me to take.

My wife had some success using niacin to  bring down LDL cholesterol.

There are a lot of other things they use and I will try to find out what they are and post again.

I just stocked my medicine cabinet last week with basic OTCs

Diphenhydramine (generic Benadryl): 2 PHP per 50 mg capsule

Biogesic(acetaminophen): 4 PHP per 500 mg capsule

Loperamide (generic Imodium): 1.5 PHP per 2 mg capsule

Aspirin: 3.5 PHP per 80 mg pill

I will add that before you just trust a prescription given to you, research it before you buy it.

We were prescribed a medication that I learned was banned in EU and US do to liver damage.

Wow...you managed to get all those medicinal tabs OTC w/o a prescription fm a doctor?...How come they keep asking for one here?...even for the basic Asprin tabs?

Thanks

manwonder :

Wow...you managed to get all those medicinal tabs OTC w/o a prescription fm a doctor?...How come they keep asking for one here?...even for the basic Asprin tabs?

Thanks

all of that stuff is like candy

it will kill you if you take a bottle of it though

maybe try a different pharmacy

but let me give you example of how prices range

the 50 mg diphenhydramine costs me 2 PHP

another drug store wanted to sell 12.5 mg caps for 80 PHP

4 of those 12.5s costs 320 PHP

vs 2 PHP for 1 50 mg at the other place

that is 160x as much??? :o


so shop around

I only buy hard to find supplements at Watsons because out local pharm has better prices on meds, but I like the Watsons website

https://www.watsons.com.ph/loperamide-w … P_10095462

Just plug in what you are looking for and they will tell you if it is Rx or not.

Thanks PD....I'm going again to visit other Pharmacies around here with a checklist & get this done asap.
Btw...Just completed my grocery stock up for the month + some!

:D

Simvastatin for my cholesterol is 30 peso each tablet
Lisinopril for blood pressure is 70 peso each. I need to check on generic brands. But still good price compared to the states

12 years in the Philippines and I suddenly began losing weight, normally 10 stone reduced to almost 8. No appetite, except Mcdos apple pies. Lethargic, no interest in anything...couldn't care about anything. Persuaded to visit s friendly GP and after scans recommended my gall bladder to be removed. I was also having dreadful indigestion pains and Heartburn. After some thinking decided to go ahead with surgery to get better. Lab blood tests because of my age revealed an extremely low HBG (blood quality). Stayed in the hospital and received 4 packets of fresh blood overnight. Felt better in the morning. Followed weekly direct injections of B12 Cobalamin into my veins. 4 weeks later my HBG figure rose to near normal, appetite back and gaining weight. PERNICIOUS ANEMIA. Expats come from red meat countries to the Philippines and only offered Chicken, pork and fish as a normal meal. In the UK I ate beef and lamb plus their liver which is rich in B12 every week. We are excited about coming to the Philippines and don't think too much about what we eat. Some guys getting the depression feeling will start on Alcohol to alleviate the symptoms, the average GP will not be aware of the problem that can happen....I could have died. EAT RED MEAT GUYS.

Peter Clark :

12 years in the Philippines and I suddenly began losing weight, normally 10 stone reduced to almost 8. No appetite, except Mcdos apple pies. Lethargic, no interest in anything...couldn't care about anything. Persuaded to visit s friendly GP and after scans recommended my gall bladder to be removed. I was also having dreadful indigestion pains and Heartburn. After some thinking decided to go ahead with surgery to get better. Lab blood tests because of my age revealed an extremely low HBG (blood quality). Stayed in the hospital and received 4 packets of fresh blood overnight. Felt better in the morning. Followed weekly direct injections of B12 Cobalamin into my veins. 4 weeks later my HBG figure rose to near normal, appetite back and gaining weight. PERNICIOUS ANEMIA. Expats come from red meat countries to the Philippines and only offered Chicken, pork and fish as a normal meal. In the UK I ate beef and lamb plus their liver which is rich in B12 every week. We are excited about coming to the Philippines and don't think too much about what we eat. Some guys getting the depression feeling will start on Alcohol to alleviate the symptoms, the average GP will not be aware of the problem that can happen....I could have died. EAT RED MEAT GUYS.

that is a prescription I can get on board with

Except for meds on snr or subsidized plans back home, in gen’l most meds seem less expensive in the Phils.
What is of primary concern is their quality. I know that some hbp meds vary in price and in effectiveness: prices at Generic can be as low as 5.5, but do not let that suck you in. When I had mine compared to home meds, they were found to be next to useless. At Mercury or Rose pharmacies - two of the most reliable here - you can get them from different manufacturers priced at 13, 16 and 24 pesos per tablet. Why the variance = lack of govt. checks and so companies dump them on the market and try to get what they can for them. As for effectiveness, who knows if any of them are any good. If they originate from China, go figure. Hardly trustworthy is that wretch of a country?

As for other meds, I don’t use them. I try to use diet to give me what I need and supplements like fish oil and perhaps a decent multi from Healthy Options in Manila or Cebu.

Good luck all....

I have been traveling to philippines for 15 years and I have found it difficult to find comparable meds to US in philippines. The philippines is not the only country that I have a problem, I spend a lot of time in Dubai and it’s the same problem. I plan to retire to philippines in June and I am already planning for this complication. What I cannot order on Amazon (many products are available through amazon at higher shipping/handling charge), I will try to use a mail transfer company to get US products in philippines.

Red horse and vitamin B12, I bring a lot of Tylenol from USA and antibiotic cream, tums mostly for the wife

Martin882 :

I will try to use a mail transfer company to get US products in philippines.

I use a re-mailer in the states, I let the mail build up for a while.

Twice now I bought vitamins, fish oil, krill oil and other stuff from Amazon, Walmart & Walgreens. I will never do it again. . . . . because problems with customs and FedEx. No problem with the re-mailer, they consolidated everything.

But customs held up this stuff forever, because the vitamins & such was over one months supply, but they don't tell you why its held up and you go  round and round in circles to find out.

I had to have a Doctor write prescriptions, because of the quantity. He had to prescribe the actual quantity, like 1,000 fish oil tabs. For Baby Aspirins I bought 1,000 for $8 USD, I needed a prescription for 1,000 and the dosage.

I've been able to buy Centrum Adult for $30 at S&R (quantity 360), they stock it from time to time. I was able to Buy Advil liquid gels at Watsons for 8.5 PHP each or Medicol  (Philippine Advil Gels) for 6.5 PHP.

I have used ForexGlobal (a consolidator) to have prescriptions shipped from a mail-order pharmacy (Blink Health), as well as ED meds from an Indian pharmacy. No problem.

Even better, I discovered that Blink sells generics for simvastatin and lisinopril for MUCH less than I was paying under Medicare Part D. Since I don't need much else, I canceled Part D.

Of course, a prescription from a US doctor is required, but they now have a facility to get you a prescription from afar for a small fee.

Also, I discovered a hole-in-the-wall pharmacy that was always mobbed with locals; it sells drugs without prescription that the majors won't. And cheaply, too.

bizwizard :

Also, I discovered a hole-in-the-wall pharmacy that was always mobbed with locals; it sells drugs without prescription that the majors won't. And cheaply, too.

I would be very careful buying medications fm such pharmacies...What if they are fakes?

My experience with the Indian pharmacy has been good. The Cipro I got from the hole-in-the-wall pharmacy cured my chest infection; I would have had to go to a doctor to get a prescription and then pay more at Watson or Mercury (which I had done previously). And I took the crush of customers at that pharmacy to be an endorsement.

I wouldn't be positive about products at the majors, either, since this is the Philippines. My basic meds (lisinopril and simvastatin) I get from a US pharmacy.

bizwizard :

My experience with the Indian pharmacy has been good. The Cipro I got from the hole-in-the-wall pharmacy cured my chest infection; I would have had to go to a doctor to get a prescription and then pay more at Watson or Mercury (which I had done previously). And I took the crush of customers at that pharmacy to be an endorsement.

I wouldn't be positive about products at the majors, either, since this is the Philippines. My basic meds (lisinopril and simvastatin) I get from a US pharmacy.

https://tinyurl.com/pinoy-fake-meds

Estimates of placebos cure rates range from a low of 15% to a high of 72%. You may be paying too much for your meds if it is maybe a placebo.

Almost unrelated a number of years ago I read a Chinese Dog Food Manufacturers dog food killed hundred of dogs in the USA. I've read articles about dangerous substances used in manufacturing for baby toys also.

I'm beginning to think that some of my ED meds from India are not up to strength. Or maybe I'm just getting old :(

I just got two months of my prescriptions with no hassle and no prescriptions today, 23/20.  P 3500
Atorvastatin
lorsartan
glimepride
levothyroxin
metformin

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