President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to sign an executive order that will impose price limits on at least 120 life-saving medicines for the benefit of the public.
The Health department has been pushing for an order that will reduce the prices of 122 drugs by half, saying Filipinos are spending more on medicines compared to other countries.
“I have not come across any, but in principle, I will sign it twice over, Duterte said in a recent interview with ABS-CBN News.
The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines had earlier expressed its desire to hold a dialogue with government officials on the recommended maximum retail prices of medicines.
The group made the statement after citing the P11 billion in losses supposedly incurred by the pharmaceutical industry.
“We hope we can explain our side before the government makes a decision on the proposed MRP,” said PHAP executive director Teodoro Padilla.
The proposed list by the Health department covers medicines for hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung diseases, neonatal diseases, and major cancers.
It also covers the high cost of treatments for chronic renal disease, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
“That’s good for the Filipino, reduced prices or maintaining a price,” Duterte said.
But he said he had yet to see a copy of the draft executive order that was still being studied by government agencies.
“Maybe they are reviewing it. If it’s on my table, I will read it at night, he said.
The Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines has opposed the proposal, saying that price caps will affect small retailers.