I’ve been getting inquiries on where to buy factor concentrates in the Philippines. Factors are the substances in the blood that act in sequence to enable it to clot naturally.
People with bleeding disorders either do not have clotting factors in their blood or their factors are defective, causing them to bleed more than normal. Some bleeds are more fatal than others, and in fact, several patients (including my mother) died from bleeding. Infusion of factor concentrates is generally the best and fastest way to stop bleeding.
In developed countries, people with bleeding disorders lead normal lives because of access to different treatment options.
In the Philippines, however, many people with bleeding disorders go through unimaginable pains because of lack of access to medicines. Factor concentrates are not only very expensive, they are sometimes unavailable since they are not manufactured locally.
Thankfully, we now have better access to factor concentrates with a number of local distributors seeing an increase in demand. However, to most Filipinos with bleeding disorders, buying factors remain prohibitive. Nevertheless, here are some local distributors to choose from:
- Baxter (F8): Paulette Manacio – 0917. 858. 2322/(02) 238 8080
- GB Distributors (F8), Bert Enriquez: 0917.575.3759
- Globo (F8): 0917.8433519
- Jeremiah (F8): 0922.814.3254
- Novo Nordisk (F7), Tin Estacio: 0916.656.6580
Remember these basic tips before buying factors:
- Canvass. It is always wise to compare prices. I experienced buying more expensive factors in the past because in my panic to get treatment for Star, I forgot the basic rule of canvassing. We ended up paying a few more thousands.
- Check out the IUs (international units) per vial. Some companies charge the same price per vial regardless of the content. For example, a 240IU vial may cost the same as a 450IU vial. If the patient needs more than 240IUs per infusion, then it will save you big time if you purchased vials with higher units.
- Negotiate. Don’t hesitate to negotiate for a better price. If you are a member of any of the local hemophilia organizations, chances are you can get discounts by buying factors through them. However, for expediency purposes, there is no harm in trying to ask for discounts. I always buy directly from the distributors and I always get discounts.
- Ask for free delivery. Always negotiate for free delivery either to your home or the hospital where the patient is confined. It saves you time and money. It should be part of your consideration when negotiating a purchase. Some distributors charge for the delivery services. But with the money they are making from the purchases, it is only fair that delivery is free of charge.
Treatment for people with bleeding disorders in the Philippines remain very expensive. Local hemophilia organizations sometimes receive donations from humanitarian organizations abroad like Project Share (http://www.kelleycom.com/projectshare/index.html) and the World Hemophilia Federation (www.wfh.org).
But with the volume that local patients need for treatments, factor distribution is prioritized for emergency cases. And in fact, not even all emergency cases can be accommodated.
There has to be collective action in enabling better access to medicines for Filipinos with bleeding disorders. In the meantime, try the tips above and I’m sure you will save some money in buying factors. ###