Expect cheaper medicines now with Maximum Retail Prices in effect

Expect cheaper medicines now with Maximum Retail Prices in effect

6/4/2020 12:00:00 AM

Expect cheaper medicines now with Maximum Retail Prices in effect

Consumer advocate Laban Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI) said it will strictly monitor the full compliance of the Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) of medicines and ensure that consumers continue to have access to affordable and quality medicines.

LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba said this as he expressed sincere appreciation to President Duterte, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, and the rest of the DOH team members and patient/ consumer groups who did not waver in ensuring that cheaper medicines are accessible to the consumers.

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Executive Order No. 104 or “Improving Access to Healthcare Through the Regulation of Prices in the Retail of Drugs and Medicines”, which sets the MRP of 87 medicines or 133 formulations, took effect Tuesday, June 2. The MRP took effect despite strong opposition from the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines.

The EO mandates 50 percent reduction on the prices of medicines for top burden diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, breast, colorectal and lung cancers, chronic kidney disease, and asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).“The DOH has always prioritized the health of every Filipinos in all its policies and decisions. This is amplified now, more than ever, to assist the public from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and protect the vulnerable from further impoverishment,” Duque said on the effectivity of the law.

With the MRP, a diabetic patient on daily insulin glulisine spending P818.75 per pre-filled pen can now purchase his medication at P435.18. If he is a senior citizen, the law grants him a mandated 20 percent discount resulting in a final purchase price of P336.14 – almost 60 percent in price deduction.

Duque said the DOH recognizes the economic impact of the pandemic to the business sector, including the pharmaceutical industry, brought about by the global and local disruptions of the supply chain, but the Department believes that there are other economic pathways to alleviate this concern.

Recently, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued joint guidelines to ensure the unhampered operations of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, which include provision for exemptions from taxes and duties on importation and manufacturing of medical equipment, drugs, and supplies needed by the frontliners. This is in accordance to Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”.

Read more: Manila Bulletin News »

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