PHL firms cited for giving Filipinos access to COVID-19 medicine

TWO Philippine pharmaceutical companies under the AC Health group were recognized in Asia for easing Molnupiravir access in the country at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and fast tracking the delivery of drug imports to local healthcare facilities.

I.E. Medica, Inc., which was founded in 2006, received the Supply Chain Initiative of the Year at the Healthcare Asia Pharma Awards 2024 in Singapore, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

“I.E. Medica was awarded for its efforts in implementing solutions to its end-to-end supply chain operations to meet the nation’s healthcare product supply chain needs,” it said.

“The Philippine pharmaceutical industry is heavily dependent on importation; thus, we continuously look for ways to improve our supply chain operations,” Monaliza Balnig Salian, co-founder, president and CEO of the company said.

I.E. Medica, which has been implementing end-to-end supply chain operations, has vowed to continue complying with Philippine Customs Administration import guidelines.

In 2017, it obtained a Super Green Lane certificate for demonstrating its initial compliance with the cargo security risk management framework required for accreditation as an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Importer.

“The company is also on track to securing the Level 1 AEO Certification, affirming its observance of supply chain security standards and the benefits of improved accessibility to healthcare goods brought about by streamlined import-export systems across borders,” the company said.

Its sister company MedEthix, meanwhile, received the Hospital Partnership of the Year and the Most Differentiated Service of the Year awards for leveraging the synergy of strategic alliances to ease Molnupiravir access in the Philippines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MedEthix, which was founded in 2009, was the first importer of the Molnupiravir, initially securing the first four hospital partners from the Food and Drug Administration and the compassionate special permit (CSP) for the oral drug, which is indicated for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

It expanded the distribution of Molnupiravir from the first four CSP grantees to over 80 health institutions and over 500 doctors across the country as soon as it secured an emergency use permit from the regulatory authority.

“Healthway QualiMed, the hospital network of AC Health, played a valuable role in its success,” the company statement said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza