The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), representing companies that engage in the discovery of new and life-saving medicines and vaccines in the country, has named Dr. Diana Edralin as president to lead the organization in this crucial time of pandemic recovery.
Dr. Edralin, general manager of Roche Philippines, replaced former MSD president and managing director Dr. Beaver Tamesis, who will serve as chairman emeritus for PHAP. Dr. Tamesis, who was PHAP president for six years, spearheaded the organization’smassive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the pandemic, the PHAP Organization and its Members have been working with the government in its COVID-19 response through theresearch and development of safe and effective medicines and vaccines; the continued supply of medicines and vaccines despite major challenges; the cascade of verified health information; and the support for healthcare workers and communities through the PHAPCares Foundation.
Also serving at the PHAP Board are Vice President Ms. Janette Jakosalem (Market Managing Director, Zuellig Pharma Philippines); and trusteesMr. Yee Kok Cheong (General Manager,Boehringer Ingelheim Philippines); Ms. Melissa Comia (General Manager, Abbott Philippines); Ms. Lotis Ramin (President, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Phils.); Mr. Ken Saito (President and General Manager, Otsuka Philippines Pharmaceutical, Co.); Mr. Jugo Tsumura (President and Managing Director, Novartis Healthcare Pharmaceutical, Inc.); and Mr. Teodoro Padilla (Executive Director, PHAP).
Dr. Edralin, along with the entire officers and trustees,will lead the 42-member strong pharmaceutical organization whose member companies have also been in the forefront of research and development efforts to address diseases that impact Filipino patients and their families.
Under her leadership, Dr. Edralin committed to advance innovation and strengthen collaborations with the government as the country recovers from the pandemic, and as it prepares for future health threats.
“We have witnessed that the health of the nation is crucial to its social and economic progress. Due to its wider implications, health should be prioritized. Public and private investments and collaborations to strengthen the healthcare system will be crucial as we navigate our way out of the pandemic, and prepare for any future health concerns. As a science-driven organization, we are in unique position to partner with the government and the nation to ensure that innovative and life-saving medicines and vaccines are available to Filipino patients at the time they are needed,” said Dr. Edralin.
With more than 70% vaccination coverage of target population, the Philippines has posted lower daily average COVID-19 cases compared with other ASEAN countries. This, together with the availability of innovative therapies for mild, moderate and severe cases, have helped prevent hospitalization, complications and deaths among people infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Dr. Edralin, meanwhile, vowed to work on the introduction of new medicines in the country to improve the health status of Filipinos, citing three lessons learned from policies created and implemented during the pandemic.
“First, regulatory processes can be accelerated without compromising the high standards set by the government. Second, the government can centralize the procurement of medicines and vaccines to secure supply, and make these available for free or at lower prices. And third, the continued open collaboration between the public and private sector can save more lives and eventually kickstart economic recovery,” said Dr. Edralin.
She likewise explained that the landmark Universal Healthcare (UHC) Act and the National Integrated Cancer Control Act (NICCA) also have provisions that could expedite the entry of new medicines and vaccines in the country to ensure that no Filipino is left behind in the race for quality healthcare.
Dr. Edralin has more than 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry where she held leadership roles at AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk. She started as country medical director at Roche Philippines in 2017, then named Established Portfolio Lead for Asia Pacific, and appointed as General Manager in October 2021. She is a Diplomate of Philippine College of Occupational Medicine, and completed her medical degree at the Dela Salle Health Sciences Institute.
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