Duterte says to sign order on maximum prices of medicine

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2020 01:00 PM | Updated as of Jan 13 2020 02:19 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. Presidential Photo/file

MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte promised Filipinos that he would sign an executive order imposing a limit on the prices of certain medicines.

Duterte in an exclusive interview last Thursday said he would even sign the measure "twice over" because it is "good for the Filipino." 

"I will sign it. That's good for the Filipino, reduced prices or maintaining a price. I will even sign the document twice over," he told broadcaster Ted Failon.

The Department of Health has proposed to regulate prices of over 120 drugs used to treat several diseases and health conditions in the Philippines.

The said drugs deal with health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung diseases, neonatal diseases or those affecting newborn babies, and major cancers. 

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health meanwhile appealed to medicine companies to balance profit and public interest.

"Ako naman po ay nakikiusap sa mga kumpanya, balansihin po natin yung profit at saka kapakanan po at interest po ng bawat Pilipino at bawat pasyente," he told radio DZMM.

(I am appealing to companies to seek a balance between profit and the welfare of the Filipino people.)

The President said that the draft executive order has yet to reach his table.

"Wala pa, maybe they are reviewing it. Kapag nasa table ko, sa gabi, binabasa ko. I have not come across any, I heard of it but hard facts are not yet there. But in principle, I will even sign it twice over," he said.