DOH eyes slashing prices of 120 drugs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 27 2019 08:33 AM

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The Department of Health on Friday said it was considering urging President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an executive order to bring down the retail price of 120 drugs.

The initial list of several drugs expanded to include medicines identified by consumers and those that have no generic alternatives, said DOH Spokesperson and Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

Some pharmaceutical firms have protested against the plan, saying they had invested on research and shipping for the drugs, he acknowledged.

"Sini-set naman po natin [ang presyo] sa hindi sila malulugi, kundi rasonableng presyo lamang. Iyong kung halimbawa sa Thailand, Malaysia, kaya nilang ibenta ng piso, hindi naman nila puwedeng ibenta ng P2 sa atin," he told radio DZMM.

(We are setting it at a reasonable price in which they would not lose. For example, if they can sell it in Malaysia, Thailand for a peso, they cannot sell it to us at P2.)

"Iyong average po natin doon sa proposed price natin, 50 percent, parang 52 percent na decrease, depende po sa gamot," he added.

(In our average proposed price, there will be a 50-percent, 52-percent decrease, depending on the drug.)

The proposal covers medicines for diabetes, hypertension, newborn diseases, cancer and psoriasis, among others, said Domingo.

The list was posted on the DOH website on Thursday to allow detractors to submit their position paper. It will be finalized in October, he added.

The prices of some drugs were last slashed in 2009 through an executive order by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

DZMM, September 27, 2019