SAHAR IS NOW PART OF THE JOINT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CHEAPER MEDICINES LAW UNDER THE COMMITTEE OF TRADE AND COMMERCE BY SENATOR MANNY VILLAR:
QUALITY AFFORDABLE MEDICINE OVERSIGHT COMMITTE (QAMCOC) - March 19, 2012
Sahar International Trading, Inc. (SITI) first objective is primarily to absorb the residual institution on the basic necessity of the Filipino masses as guaranteed by the 1987 Charter, the Constitution of the Philippines the right of the Filipino Citizens on health.
This basic right has been suppressed by some provisions of other local laws in the land that basically forestall the citizenry to avail this right due to the monopoly of multinational companies to block the importation of cheaper medicines coming from the source country using patent right.
There seemed to be an existing anarchism that has been going on antecedentally since the time the multinational companies have established their plants and offices in the country which they captured and dominate the market on pharmaceutical products by conditioning the minds of the public that only their brands are good products and the rest pharmaceutical products are substandard and unreliable. This propagation is purely machination to destroy the veracity of other genuine and cheaper quality medicines to continue their monopoly in the market.
Sahar (SITI) didn’t know this monopoly at the beginning but as we enter in the pharmaceutical market, we were stormed by several charges on infringement cases such as illegal distribution of patented pharmaceutical products and other patent issues, etc.
Considering the little strength of Sahar as normally encountered by any newly established companies against the influence and popularity of the multinational companies who charged us with all malicious intent to besmirch our reputation purposely to discourage our prospect clients and customers, we have no choice but to come across and confront the giant waves of our detractors through our courageous legal counsels, the Rodriquez De Los Santos & Naidas Law firm. Sahar at the beginning of the fight has admitted the uncertainty that we may not survive these malicious charges, considering the strength and influence of our opponents, the Three (3) big multinational companies through their very well known legal counsels using their very influential law firms.
Sahar (SITI) could hardly find any encouragement or relief that we can overcome the fight, except our undying faith with GOD that the truth will always prevail. We standby along with our legal counsels to defend our right for fair competition but gradually the charges against us didn’t prosper. As published by one journalist in his news article “3 Behemoths against puny moth duel in the court”
Sahar was accused of selling patented drugs Atorvastatin. The very cheap medicine for lowering cholesterol against its registered brand Lipitor with the FDA, Lipitor is patented by Pfizer Philippines. The Trial Court of Makati was in a complex situation to either issue a Restraining Order to desist our Atorvastatin from circulation in the market or reverse its position against the ruling of the Supreme Court that any drug with a counterpart brand in the Philippines can be imported in the country as part of the constitutionally-recognized rights of the citizens on health. This right was clearly ventilated in the Supreme Court ruling on ROMA drug case against the lower court of Gua-gua Pampanga, NBI and IP Manila, in which the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the lower court.
The Supreme Court in its ruling on ROMA drug case once again exercise its mandate to interpret the constitution in the particular issue on health. Citing further the existing provisions on “Special Law on Counterfeit Drug (R.A. 8203 SLCD) as “heartless, soulless legislative piece”. The mandate of the constitution on health can be more realized in the function of the Department of Health (DOJ) being the arm of the constitution to safeguard and promote public safety. The DOH was the first proponent to allow cheaper medicines to be imported in the country as emphasized in the issuance of Administrative order No. 85 of the former secretary of Health.
As a result of the issuance of A.O. No. 85, the secretary of Health was sued by the multinational companies, accusing the former secretary of abusing his authorities but the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the case. Sahar (SITI) and other local pharmaceutical distributors were consistently accused by these multinational companies, showing their corporate greed to monopolize their pharmaceutical products in the market. But Sahar is motivated by strong conviction that fair competition must prevail in the market.
Our motivation become more stronger when the Asian Patent Association of the Philippines headed by Atty. Angela ALeli Quirino made the reports citing the 6 significant cases decided by the Supreme Court of the Philippines, giving our case as the first credence among the 6 significant cases. The subject reports of Ms. Quirino being the former President of the Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP) served as a guiding principle in the expediency of creating a legislative measure to pass a law on Cheaper Medicine Act. Thus, R.A. 9502, The Universally Accessible to Cheaper Medicines came into being. Ms. Angela Quirino is one of the directors of the biggest law firm in the country, the ACCRALAW Office.
The stormy whether experienced by Sahar has gradually disappeared as we got the favorable decision from the lower court up to the highest court. We have proven our stand that we are not violating any law. Our faith in GOD and in our undertakings remain strong as we believe in the saying that “At the end of every tunnel, there is a light”. This light maybe the result of our new acquaintance with the Law firm of the former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Santiago Kapunan, the Kapunan, Tamano and Javier law firm who gave us their legal services to defend our advocacy. We could humbly claim now that the counsels of our opponents, the giant multinational companies is now matched with ours.
The cloud of doubt as projected by these multinational companies against Sahar is now appearing with a glaring silver lining of truth that will eventually tear down the existing monopoly and anticompetitive in the market. The basic right of the citizenry on health which had been deprived from them for so many years is now accessible to them.
By these antecedental facts and scenario that may serve as a historical event of Sahar International Trading, Inc. We are now humbly guided by basic principle of law to defend our right for fair competition on the first hand, and as well as to defend the basic right of the Filipino citizens on health on the other hand, as embodied in R.A. No. 9502, otherwise known as “The Universally Accessible to Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008, principally authored by the then Senator and now Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications Honorable Mar Roxas.
Sahar International Trading, Inc. (SITI) is now considerably on the right track to commit its clients and customers our genuine objectives to clear the monopoly on pharmaceutical products in the market that eventually reduce the high prices of the medicines in the market. The consuming public will be the first recipients of our advocacy to introduce cheaper medicines in the market. Sahar has recently agreed in principle with the biggest law firm in the country THE ACCRALAW OFFICE to support our advocacy. ACCRALAW firm is known to be the biggest, credible, reputable and high caliber association of legal experts in the country.