Senator Bong Go expressed strong support for an extensive and fair investigation into the Bell-Kenz Pharma issue. 

As ruled by the Senate during the plenary session, the probe will be led by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee joint with the Senate Committee on Health as secondary committee.

Being the chair of the Senate Health Committee, Go emphasized the importance of upholding the integrity of the medical profession and maintaining the trust given to doctors. 

The legislator stressed the State’s obligation to safeguard the integrity of the public health system and ensure that medical professionals adhere to their ethical standards and existing laws.

“Unahin natin ang kapakanan ng mga pasyente especially poor and indigent patients.”

“Walang masamang kumita but not at the expense of people’s health. Unahin natin ang kapakanan ng mga pasyente especially poor and indigent patients. Interes ng tao, interes ng bayan at ano ang katotohanan,” the lawmaker stressed.

Following initial discussions conducted by the Senate Committee on Health during its hearing last April 30, the matter has been officially referred by the Senate Committee on Rules to the Blue Ribbon Committee for further investigation. 

The senator expressed his full support for this decision, emphasizing his confidence in the committee’s ability to conduct a thorough and impartial inquiry.

“It is crucial to continue this investigation and get to the bottom of this. Whether primary or secondary, whether it is the Committee on Health or the Blue Ribbon Committee or any other related committee, ang importante malaman natin ang totoo,” he declared.

Earlier, Go has asked concerned regulatory bodies and government agencies, including the Department of Health (DOH), Food and Drug Administration, Professional Regulation Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Philippine Competition Commission, to also investigate the accusations against the pharma company based on their respective mandates.

“We are pleased to know that, according to (DOH) Secretary (Teodoro) Herbosa, a joint investigation is underway,” he noted.

Further, Go underscored the importance of scrutinizing not only Bell-Kenz but also other entities with similar alleged unethical practices. He stressed the importance of government regulations to ensure that unethical and unlawful practices are not tolerated.

“It is crucial for the Blue Ribbon to investigate if there is malfeasance, misfeasance, or non-feasance on the part of government agencies,” he underscored.

Go also reiterated the need to unearth the truth behind the alleged long-standing malpractice and ensure accountability at every level.

“We must further investigate this system allegedly involving Bell-Kenz and other entities with a similar scheme. We must also look into the culpability of government agencies mandated to regulate and monitor the practice of medicine and the delivery of health services,” he asserted.

“Kung totoo ang mga alegasyon, bakit nakakalusot ang ganitong sistema? May pagkukulang ba ang government agencies? Ano ang liability ng mga doktor na involved na nag-practice sa government hospitals?” Go asked.

The concerns raised about Bell-Kenz Pharma center on allegations that a number of doctors with some also being company shareholders, were prescribing medications to meet sales quotas, potentially earning monetary rewards, luxury items, or sponsored trips, possibly at the expense of patients who in effect are deprived of the right to get the most appropriate medication they should get.

Go voiced concerns that schemes involving “rebates” or “incentives” might compromise the ethical principles of the medical profession.

“Kaya nga kayo naging doktor para gamutin ang pasyente, kung ano ang makakabuti para sa mga pasyente. Mr. President, minsan, hindi na po nabibigyan ng priority ‘yung pagpapagamot kasi may hinahabol na ‘point system’ para maabot ‘yung quota,” he highlighted.

Moreover, Go emphasized the need to differentiate between lawful practices within the medical profession and those considered already unethical.

“We acknowledge that some companies sponsor continuing medical education of some doctors which is very important, not only to them but to us as well,” he stated.

“Kailangan din po ma-update rin po sila sa kanilang kaalaman because cascading current and up-to-date medical information means more competent medical service. Ang importante dito sumunod sa ethical standards at sumunod sa proper disclosure according to our laws and regulations,” Go elaborated.

He reiterated the importance of prioritizing health over business interests and suggested a review of existing laws, particularly the Generics Law, to protect patients and maintain the integrity of the medical profession.

“If we need to craft a law, then we should do it. Ano ba talaga ang pwede? What is legal? What is ethical? What is modest? At ano ho bang katanggap tanggap dito?” Go questioned.

“Without compromising, hindi po dapat masasakripisyo ang kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino, dahil napaka importante po para sakin ng kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino dahil katumbas po yan ng buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” he added.

“Rest assured that we will listen to the medical community. Handa po kaming makinig sa inyo kung paano natin mas mapapaganda pa ang ating current laws,” Go assured.

In closing, Go reaffirmed his trust in the professionalism and dedication of the majority of doctors.

“Naaawa po ako dun sa mga doctors na napagbibintangan na kasama sa listahan.”

“Alam niyo, naniniwala pa rin po ako na maraming mga doctors natin are professionals, kaya naman nilang bumili ng sasakyan. Naaawa po ako dun sa mga doctors na napagbibintangan na kasama sa listahan, na hindi naman dapat kasama sa listahan. Meron naman wala sa listahan pero dapat kasama sa listahan. Kawawa naman ‘yung may kakayahan na bumili ng sasakyan, napagbibintangan sila,” he said.

“At ako po’y malaki ang aking tiwala sa ating mga doctors. Kaya nga ipinagkatiwala natin sa kanila ang ating buhay,” Go added.

He stressed the balance necessary between upholding professional integrity and ensuring doctors can earn a living through legal and ethical means.

“We must ensure that such legislation does not impede on your right to earn a decent living,” Go affirmed, acknowledging the professionalism of the majority of doctors.

“This is crucial to maintain the trust given to our doctors. Buhay po ang ipinagkakatiwala natin sa kanila. I know that most doctors are known to be very professional. Ginagawa rin natin ito dahil gusto nating proteksyunan ang vast majority ng mga doctors natin na matitino po,” he concluded.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *