MANILA — The health department said on Thursday it will recommend price reduction on 120 "high-cost" medicines as part of the maximum drug retail price (MDRP) scheme.
In statement, the Department of Health (DOH) said the proposed list covers drugs for leading diseases and conditions in the Philippines such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases, neonatal diseases, and major cancers.
The list also includes high-cost treatments for chronic renal disease, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
"Drug prices must come down to fair and affordable levels. We have to achieve universal health care, financial risk protection and prevent disaster sa pamilya," said Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo.
Under the MDRP scheme, prices of the selected medicines are expected to have a mean price reduction of 56 percent from prevailing market prices.
Domingo said Filipinos are still paying higher prices for medicine compared to other countries, despite the general trend of of prices of generic essential medicines having gone down in recent years.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III will submit the list to President Duterte, who is expected to issue an executive order.
The proposed list of drugs and medicines for price regulation was created in August 2018 following a directive from the chief executive to make medicines affordable to Filipinos. -- With a report from Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News