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14 medicines’ prices to go down 50% — DoH

Posted on: July 20, 2009

14 medicines’ prices to go down 50% — DoH

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:14:00 07/20/2009

Filed Under: Medicines, Legislation, Consumer Issues

MANILA, Philippines – Pharmaceutical firms have agreed to cut by half the prices of at least 14 essential medicines as soon as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signs an executive order on the implementation of the cheaper medicine law, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

The prices of the remaining essential drugs will be subjected to a maximum drug retail price (MDRP), Duque said.

“We take note of the timely submission of the pharmaceutical companies and their commitment to lower medicines prices of their common products by at least 50 percent,” Duque said.

The 50-percent price cut will cover “14 to 15” essential medicines, he said.

Medicines that will be subject to MDRP and include those for hypertension and diabetes patients as well as antibiotics and antibacterials, said Robert So, program manager of the DoH pharmaceutical management unit.

Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) President Oscar Aragon said most of PHAP’s member companies preferred a voluntary price reduction instead of mandatory cuts under an EO.

“The executive order is a last resort item that will have to be installed if all else fails such that competition is not healthy but right now, we have a very lively industry with a lot of emerging players,” Aragon said.

Setting a maximum price “would kill small generic companies,” he warned.

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