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Monday, December 23, 2019

Tuklas Lunas for Accessible, Affordable and Reliable Drugs


Wazzup Pilipinas!

According to Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo of the Department of Health (DoH), the Philippines still pay higher prices for medicines than other countries. This high cost of medicine is a barrier to access reliable healthcare solutions, especially for low to middle income families. To address issues on access of drugs, the Department
of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and
Development (DOST-PCHRD) established the Tuklas Lunas™ Program which aims
to produce reliable and affordable medicine sourced from our very own biodiversity.

As part of our country’s tradition, communities have been using remedies sourced from our very own biodiversity as a relief from ailments. These learnings served as the foundation for the development of the Lagundi and Sambong products under the Council’s National Integrated Research Program on Medicinal Plants (NIRPROMP).

The Tuklas Lunas Program builds on what had been started by NIRPROMP in
refining the DOST-PCHRD’s drug discovery and development program with two
tracks: the drug and herbal track. To implement the program, 28 Tuklas Lunas Centers (TLDCs) all over the country were established, each research institutions
working on the unique resources of each region. The 28 research implementing
institutions are distributed as follows: 17 TLDCs in Luzon, six in Visayas and five in
Mindanao.

Some of the most advanced projects under the program include university-industry
partnerships. Pharmalytics Corporation working with the De La Salle University
Medical Health Sciences Institute (DLSU-HSI) is now undertaking clinical trials for the Dengue Herbal Drug to determine the safety combination of three plants identified to have effect against the dengue virus. Meanwhile, UP Manila, UP Diliman,
Pharmalytics Corporation, Herbanext Laboratories and the Pascual Lab focus on
formulating standardized dosage forms from 28 plants for possible anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-gout and anti-hypertensive applications.

Drug discovery and development is one of the priority areas for health research set
under the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) and the Harmonized
National Health Research and Development Agenda (HNRDA).

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