Health is wealth, they say; but due to the exponential increase of the price of prime commodities, health is becoming less and less prioritized by people, especially, the less fortunate. Even if it is a matter of life and death, people will most certainly go for the cheaper medicines, which the quality is not sure.
GlaxoSmithKline (manufacturer of medicines like Calpol and Ventolin), one of the trusted leading pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in the country, believes that every Filipino should have access to quality healthcare in line with its vision to be the leading provider of quality and affordable healthcare solutions to more Filipinos. In support for this vision, last April 27, 2011, we, the blogging community and the traditional media, were invited to visit the GSK’s plant at Cainta, Rizal and attend the GSK’s Road To Good Health talk.
Before we had the tour inside the plant, we were requested to leave our stuffs and wear the sanitation suit. This is to make sure that we are sort of sterile when we enter the plant so as not to contaminate the manufacturing process.
We were guided to the laboratory where the actual maxing of the chemicals to make certain drugs were done, then we witnessed how Ventolin, an asthma medicine, were packed. We are also privileged to see several equipments and devices were present inside the manufacturing laboratory as we explore the plant.
After the tour, we were lucky to receive free flu vaccination. Then, we traveled to Pinto Gallery in Antipolo for our lunch and for the GSK’s Road To Good Health talk.
The GSK’s Road To Good Health tackled the issues on how health priorities tend to decline due to several factors such as the cost of medicines and/or the influence of other people recommending the consumers to go with the cheaper ones despite the unsure quality. Also, the GSK’s commitment to improve good health of the Filipinos was emphasized.
PMA (Philippine Medical Association) President, Dr. Oscar Tinio, started the talk regarding the ethical practices, prescription law and the importance of good and quality healthcare, while GSK’s VP for Government and External Affairs, Ms. Daisy Cembrano, discussed how pharmaceutical companies prolong life and pointed out GSK’s continuous effort in providing Filipinos quality medicines at a cheaper price as compared to other branded drugs available. A DOH Representative was also present during the talk and even presented a video regarding PhilHealth and how it helped millions of Filipino people. To make the event more momentous, the GSK Philippine President and Managing Director Roberto Taboada graced the occasion and talked about the main objective of the company, which is to provide Filipino people high quality medicines at a price affordable to the financially grieving masses.
The company even bragged about their constant endeavor to maintain high quality but cheaper medicines as part of their social responsibility. They are able to do so because they do their own share of energy conservation, which in turn greatly affects the cost of their operating expenses. According to them, one of their ways of doing so is to utilize natural light, through their Solar Tubes, instead of using numerous lamps or bulbs to light the area during manufacturing.
To sum it up, the experience of attending GSK’s Road To Health have awaken my consciousness on new aspects of providing quality health care to every individual. Before, I don’t worry about the cost of the medicines and I don’t try to bother myself with the so-called social responsibility. After the talk, I am determined to be socially responsible, especially with the health aspects, by promoting it (from time to time) in my blogs, so that my readers will also be aware of these issues.