72 drugs at 50% off starting Aug. 15
Posted July 24, 2009on:
By Anna Valmero
First Posted 14:59:00 07/24/2009
Filed Under: Health, Medicines
MANILA, Philippines – Seventy-two drug products will be sold 50 percent cheaper than their present regular prices starting August 15, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Friday.
Duque III said drug companies offered to cut half of the prices of 16 of the 21 essential drug molecules – which are needed to prepare drug formulations – or equivalent to 41 drug products.
Meanwhile, eight pharmaceutical firms offered to cut prices of 22 additional drug molecules that made 31 drugs used against hypertension, diabetes, influenza, high cholesterol, cancer, arthritis, goiter, allergies and infections, said Duque.
“There will be 72 drugs that will be subjected to 50 percent voluntary price reduction starting August 15 given the fast voluntary compliance of drug companies to the government appeal that they reduce their product prices,” said Duque.
“We got more than we bargained for as eight pharmaceuticals offered to apply voluntary price reduction to 22 other molecules or 31 new products that were not in the original list. Overall, we have 38 drug molecules and 72 products to be sold at reduced prices come August 15,” said Duque.
Based on the resolution signed Friday by the DoH Advisory Council for Medicine Price Regulation, Duque said major firms were expected to implement the price cuts on August 15 while small and medium drug enterprises would be given until September 15 to comply with the order since they have “manual systems for inventories.”
Violators will be subject to penalties including a fine of P100,000 to P500,000, revocation of license to operate and cancelation of manufacturing licenses, said Nazaria Tan Tacandong, Bureau of Food and Drugs director.
A monitoring group will be installed composed of different industry and consumer groups.
Meanwhile, five of the 21 essential molecules will be subject to mandatory price reduction under the Universally Accessible Quality and Cheaper Medicine Act signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday.
“This is just the initial stages of making our medicines affordable. We expect to add more to the list over time,” said Duque.