Duterte eyes cheap medicine from India

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2017 02:36 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte and his partner Honeylet Avanceña welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the gala dinner for leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and dialogue partners at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, November 12, 2017. Ace Morandante, Malacañang Photo

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he wants the Philippines to benefit from cheap pharmaceutical products from India.

During his bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit, Duterte said the Philippines should be getting its supplies of medicine from India, which are known to be cheap. 

“I’m happy that you’re here because of... We can’t find the medicines, and you have it and it is --- India --- people who can really afford to buy it,” he said.

Duterte said procuring medicine from the United States is expensive.

“I’m more interested, really, in the medicines because we are a poor country, but you know how it is with America. They don’t believe in generics because they do not make money, so it’s very expensive really actually,” he said.

Modi, for his part, congratulated Duterte for the Philippines’ hosting of the ASEAN Summit.

During the bilateral meeting, the Philippines and India also signed memoranda of understanding on defense, agriculture and related fields, foreign services, and on cooperation in the field of micro, small and medium enterprises.

Duterte, meanwhile, asked Modi to encourage Indian investors to bet on the Philippines.

“And if there is an investor that could be interested, an Indian citizen of yours who would want to venture in our place, we would be happy,” he said.