MANILA, Philippines – Who is overpricing medicines for leptospirosis?
President Benigno Aquino III did not identify the company, but nonetheless criticized it Thursday, August 9, during his visit to an evacuation center in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.
“Meron hong isang kompanyang nagsasamantala. So gamitin ko na ho itong pagkakataon – nandito ho ang media – hindi ho makatao, hindi maka-Pilipino ‘yung ginagawa ninyo,” Aquino said. (One company is taking advantage of the situation. So I will use this opportunity – the media is here – what you’re doing is inhumane and anti-Filipino.)
The Department of Health (DOH) has alerted the public against increased incidences of leptospirosis, a flood-related bacterial disease, amid days of continuous monsoon rain. A person can contract leptospirosis if he or she has an open wound, and wades through floodwater.
Based on reports he has received, Aquino said a pharmaceutical company has hiked the price of leptospirosis medicines by up to 750%.
“Paalala lang po muna natin, sa period of calamity merong price control at ‘pag hindi ho dumire-diretso itong kompanyang ito, gawin ‘yung dapat niyang gawin, marami hong kapangyarihan at magagawa ang gobyerno para lang ituwid ang landas niya. Hindi ho puwedeng pagsamantalahan ang Pilipino,” Aquino said. (Just a reminder – during a period of calamity, there is price control, and if this company doesn’t mend its ways and do what it’s supposed to do, the government has much power to correct the situation. They cannot take advantage of the Filipino.)
One move explored by the government, Aquino said, is to directly import medicines to deprive the overpricing company of its market.
“Sa ngayon nakikiusap muna ako dito sa kompanyang ito, ano, kilala ka na namin, iimbestigahan ka na. Bago namin simulan ‘yung proseso sana naman i-ayos mo ang iyong ginagawa,” the President said. (For now I am appealing to this company, okay, we know you, we are investigating you. Before we begin the process, we hope you can correct what you’re doing.)
In his visits to evacuation centers Thursday, Aquino also assured evacuees of the government’s presence. He went to evacuation centers in Marikina, Quezon City, Caloocan, Valenzuela, and Malabon to check the situation and distribute relief goods. – Rappler.com
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