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Generics, pharma firms’ tie-up launches new asthma drug

RHEA Generics, a homegrown pioneer in the marketing and distribution of high quality and affordable health-care products, has entered a new partnership with leading pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc. (BIPHI). The initial offering from this partnership is the launch of an affordable combination medication for the management of reversible bronchospasm associated with obstructive airway diseases that include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

Both asthma and COPD fall under respiratory diseases, a group of illnesses consistently ranked among the top causes of death in the Philippines. As of 2018, the morbidity rate of respiratory illnesses in the Philippines was approximately 1.1 thousand per 100,000 people.

Asthma refers to a medical condition in which the body’s airways narrow and swells, triggering breathing difficulties. It can be a very serious medical condition. The Philippines ranks 9th globally in terms of asthma mortality. On the other hand, COPD refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. Locally, COPD is among the top 10 causes of death in the country. With known causes including tobacco smoke, air pollutants, and other respiratory infections, the effects of COPD can range from activity limitations to the onset of other chronic diseases such as arthritis or diabetes.

Financial burden

While treatable, a patient may experience additional financial burden with medication, pulmonary rehabilitation, supplemental oxygen, and other measures to manage asthma and COPD. Through the partnership with BIPHI, the medication offered by RHEA Generics will be sold at a price of up to 44% more affordable than other brands in the market. 

“We are beyond excited to establish a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim [Philippines], Inc. to further bolster efforts in providing every Filipino family with access to world-class quality medicines at the most affordable cost,” said Neogin Evangelista, president and general manager of Philusa Corporation.

Asked about the first product released through the partnership, Evangelista added, “BIPHI has been instrumental in the creation of the RHEA Generics medication for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As a result, we will now be offering a product with a lower price compared to competitors while delivering the same level of quality, efficacy, and safety as the innovator brand.”

 “Value through innovation has always been the guiding principle at Boehringer Ingelheim [Philippines], Inc. In today’s competitive and fast-changing world, our commitment to the research, development, and production of quality medicine must coincide with the drive to ensure greater access to our innovations. This partnership with RHEA Generics is symbolic of a vision both companies share—improving the quality of life for as many people as possible,” said Yee Kok Cheong, general manager, Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines),Inc.

 This new RHEA Generics medicine will be available in all Mercury Drug stores starting this July 2021.

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