Frequently Asked Questions - Public/Consumer Information - BFAD
- What are the requirements to avail the 20% discount in the purchase of medicines for personal use of the Senior Citizen?
- What are some precautions in taking dietary supplements?
- How to spot false claims?
- How does BFAD process consumer complaints?
- How do we know if a certain product is registered with BFAD?
- How do we apply for a permit from BFAD so we can hand carry or mail products for personal consumption abroad?
- How can we avoid purchase of unregistered products?
A: Requirements to avail of the 20% discount in the purchase of medicines for personal use are:
- Present the national identification (ID) card and your purchase slip booklet duly approved by the OSCA chairman.
- Doctor's prescription pad should have the following information:
- Patient name, age, address, and date
- Generic name of the medicine prescribed
- Name and address of the doctor; his PTR number and S2 license (if prohibited and regulated drug)
- Those who cannot afford the consultation fee of a private doctor can consult at their nearest health center or government hospital and get a prescription free of charge.
- Any single dispensing should not be more than one week's supply. However, when drugs are for chronic conditions requiring continuous use for more than a month, such as hypertension, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, arthritis, TB, cancer, psychosis, a maximum of one month's supply may be dispensed at a time.
- The following should be recorded in a special record Book for Senior Citizens Discount provided under RA 7432:
- National ID number of Senior Citizen
- Generic Name of the drug/medicine
- Number of units dispensed
A: Some dietary supplements have documented benefits; the advantages of others are unproven and claims about those products may be false or misleading.
- For example, claims that you can eat all you want to lose weight effortlessly just by taking their products are not true.
- One other example are those body building products that can tone you up effortlessly or build muscle mass without exercise.
- Other questionable claims involve those products advertised as effective in curing insomnia, reversing hair loss, relieving stress, curing impotency, improving memory or eye sight, and slowing the aging process.
- In addition to lacking documented effectiveness, some dietary supplements may be harmful under some conditions of use.
- A label of "Natural" is no guarantee of a product's safety or effectiveness.
- Consumers must read product labels and consult health professionals before taking dietary supplements (especially for children, adolescents, the elderly or chronically ill persons, and pregnant or breast-feeding women) Oftentimes, these products are imported without the necessary papers and there are claims that they are US FDA approved or Japan FDA approved. The US FDA does not regulate health supplements like these. Endorsements frequently come from foreign-authoritatively looking individuals.
A: Typical fraudulent health claims will use the following promotional techniques to fool their customers:
- The product is advertised as a quick and effective cure-all for a wide range of illness.
- Certain key words like "scientific breakthrough, miracle cure, all natural without side-effects or ancient remedy" are used.
- The promote claims that medical professionals and scientists have conspired to suppress the product.
- Adverts contain undocumented, anecdotal cases, but with amazing results. No science involved.
- These products sell falls hope for extreme physical attractiveness and shortcuts to weight loss. They will never emphasize the value of healthy lifestyles, like avoiding smoking, excess drinking of alcohol, eating appropriately, adequate rest and sleep, and regular exercise.
- Remember that legitimate health supplement products will never carry claims for quick cures; claims such as cancer prevention, good for arthritis, good for diabetes or good for hypertension, should be high suspect.
- The product is advertised as available from only one source.
- There is a money-back guarantee promise.
Consumers are advised to coordinate with the nearest Department of Health Center for Health Development (CHD) for product complaints. If the Acting Consumer Arbitration Officers deem it fit that the complained product needs laboratory analysis, the product will be forwarded to the BFAD Laboratory Services Division.
For product registration verification, consumers may contact the Policy, Planning, and Advocacy Division at:
Telephone Number - 8425606
Consumers are advised to provide details such as the complete product name, registration number, and name of
Manufacturer or distributor.
[Note: BFAD assigns unique registration numbers for processed food (FR-#), drug (DR-#, BR-#, VR-#, HMR-#, HDL-#), medical device (DVR-#), diagnostic reagent (RR-#), cosmetic (CR-#, CL-#), and household hazardous products (HHR-#). This registration number must be indicated on the label or packaging of products except for some food products.]
Consumers may go directly to the BFAD Policy, Planning, and Advocacy Division - Public Assistance and Compliance Division (PPAD-PAICS), Room 101. They are advised to bring for verification product samples and the doctor’s prescription for prescription drug products.
Consumers are advised to verify the existence of the License to Operate (LTO) of the establishment/outlet which should be conspicuously displayed and the existence of the applicable BFAD Product Registration Number on the label of the products intended to be bought. The absence of such information is indicative of possible illegal source/product.
Furthermore, consumers must ask for receipts of payment of purchased products reflecting the business name and address, Tax Identification Number (TIN), and name of printer (BIR Permit No.) with inclusive serial number of booklets and date of issuance of receipts and the description of the goods bought.