MANILA -- In an effort to be at par with the health technology of developed countries, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced on Wednesday that it invested more in genomics Health Research and Development.
In a technology conference, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said the department, through the Philippine Council for Health, Research, and Development, has ventured to exploring genomics or the branch of molecular biology concerned with the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes.
“This will allow us to check whether the drugs we are using for our patients really work for them. This will result in health professionals having the ability to develop medicines that will fit the individual needs of every Filipino,” dela Peña said.
In previous years, genomics research budget allocation was not given much priority with PHP31 million in 2014 and PHP29.5 million in 2015.
It has since tripled to PHP60 million in 2016, PHP71 million in 2017, and recently PHP312 million in 2018.
Dela Peña said the project hopefully reduces the number of failed medications in the Philippines as the most medication used by Filipinos are made abroad and suited to adapt to their genetic needs which are often not as effective when taken by others.
By being involved in genomics, the study of all of a person's genome including interactions of those genes with each other and with the person's environment, Filipino scientists and doctors can check whether the drugs given to patients really work.
Through genomics, DOST aims to develop new health products and services and strengthen the clinical practice guidelines and policies of the Philippines. (PNA)