Grandview Tower Hotel, Angeles City, Pampanga

March 25-26, 2015

     The Pharmaceutical Division (PD) of the Department Health (DOH) conducted the “Orientation on the New Medicines Access Programs (MAPs) Seminar-Workshop” held last 25-27 March 2015 at The Grandview Hotel, Clark Pampanga. The seminar-workshop is focused on improving pharmacy services in DOH hospital by addressing gaps and issues, improving drugdelivery system, strengthening linkages and networks between pharmacists and hospitals in every region, and strengthen referral and communication process between stakeholders.

     The seminar-workshop utilized a combination of didactic and workshop sessions. Short lecture-discussions provided the context of the program.

     A short introduction was delivered by Ms. Merla David Reyes (PhilHeath) on the Philippine Health Sector Roadmap from 2014 to 2016 and PhilHealth's Mandate on key health sector thrust: financial risk protection, Ms. Reyes reiterated that out of pocket (OOP) expenditures will be decreased by subsidizing health expenditures through PhilHealth's type Z Benefit Package. After which Ms. Reyes presented the No Balance Billing (NBB) of PhilHealth. The NBB policy aimed to provide financial risk protection for PhilHealth's poorest members.

     Ms. Agnes Abigail Banting(PhilHealth) presented the 2014 newly implemented All Case Rates (ACR) Package of PhilHealth. The advantages of the ACR are to contain the excess of HCPs without sacrificing the support to members, improve turn-around-time of claims payment, make the benefits easier to communicate, allow PhilHealth to introduce incentives and NBB, improve transparency and predictability i.e. Members know their benefits, push health care providers toward better efficiency, and advantageous to PhilHeath in terms of operations.

     The following day, Mr. Harold James E. Doroteo presented a mini-cross sectional study on the procurement practices of hospitals entitled "An Assessment of the Status of Essential Medicines Procurement of DOH-Retained Hospitals in 2013", the study paved the way for the workshop proper. The participants were divided into 8 groups. Dr. Anna Melissa Guerrero, Pharmaceutical Division Chief, reiterated the importance of the workshop output because it will be one of the reference on the revision of the PNF based on the drugs most needed and used by the DOH hospitals.

     Ms. Sarah Millena-Manga, Mr. Julius Jocson, and Mr. Mikee Junsay of the Pharmaceutical Division oriented the participants regarding the New Medicines Access Programs. The PD will be expected to implement MAPs for Kawasaki disease, Prematurity, Colon and Rectal Cancer, Insulin and DOH ComPack will be now available in DOH Hospitals. Moreover, the group reiterated that the MAPs goals are to decrease health care cost, improving primary health care in the poorest communities, providing complete treatment regimens, improving survival and incidence rates, and effective uniform treatment regimens in public health facilities.

     Towards the end of the seminar-workshop, the participants agreed to echo the discussions and agreements on MAPs processes and updates with their respective TC and supply officers. The DOH Pharmaceutical Division will give its best effort in disseminating information not only to hospital pharmacists but also to other key stakeholders such as physicians, and hospital administrators.