DOH uses another creator’s TikTok video for Generic Awareness Month

September 13, 2022 - 10:07 AM
Screenshots of Arshie Larga's TikTok video that the Department of Health posted on its accounts. (Twitter/Arshie Larga)

The Department of Health showcased a popular content creator’s explainer video about generic medicine on its social media channels.

The DOH used the video of pharmacist-TikToker Arshie Larga about the difference between generic and branded pharmaceutical products for its content for Generic Awareness Month.

The health department credited Larga for it.

“ALAMIN: May bisa pa rin ba ang generics kahit branded ang una mong nainom? #GenericsAwarenessMonth,” DOH’s post reads.

Larga first uploaded this video on his TikTok and other social media channels on September 8.

In the video, he replied to a question from a commenter which reads: “Nawawala ba ang effect ng generic na gamot kung naunang uminom ng ‘branded’ medicine?”

To this, Larga responded that such a claim is fake news.

He then explained that a person can take a generic and a branded product as long as both items are the same in the following:

  • Active pharmaceutical ingredient (ex. Paracetamol)
  • Dosage strength (ex. 500 mg)
  • Dosage form (ex. tablet)

Larga further noted that generic products were made to make safe and effective medicine accessible to people.

“At the end of the day, nasainyo naman ang desisyon kung gusto niyo ng generic o branded na gamot. Tandaan lang po natin na ginawa ang generic na gamot na abot-kaya para magkaroon ng access ang bawat Pilipino sa safe and effective na gamot,” he said.

Larga learned on September 12 that the DOH posted his video on its social media channels, including its TikTok account.

“Aba’y nasa tiktok na pala ako ng DOH,” he said.

The social media star then added under his tweet that the agency did ask his permission for it.

“Btw, may permission naman po yung pag-post nila ng video ko. Nagulat lang ako na iu-upload talaga nila,” Larga said.

Some of his fans cheered him for this recognition.

They quipped that Larga should be named the new DOH secretary soon.

Others also hoped that he would be compensated for using his material.

What is Generic Awareness Month?

Generic Awareness Month is observed every September of the year. It aims to increase public awareness of the global and local efforts of the government and the private sector to strengthen the pharmaceutical industry in manufacturing generic medicines.

The supply, distribution and use of medicines that use their generic names are established by law under the Generics Act of 1988.

In Section 3, generic drugs are the ones “not covered by the patent protection and which are labeled solely by their international non-proprietary or generic name.”

A drug’s brand name, meanwhile, refers to “the proprietary name given by the manufacture to distinguish its product from those of competitors.”

Larga, meanwhile, gained fame online for his informative videos about illnesses, medicines and other health-related information.

He received the “Popular Creator of the Year” Award, alongside Esnyr Ranollo, at the TikTok Awards Philippines 2022.