Angara backs imposing price ceiling on 120 medicines
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Juan Edgardo Angara on Saturday, October 19, backed the imposition of a price ceiling on 120 medicines, as the Department of Health moved to place the said drugs in the "maximum retail price scheme" (MRP).
The list covered medicines for the following illnesses: hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung diseases, neonatal diseases, and major cancers.
It also included high cost treatments for chronic renal disease, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
"Kung tama ang pag-aaral ng DOH… walang duda na makatarungan at makatao ang ganoong hakbang (If the study of DOH is accurate, then there's no doubt that their move is fair and humane)," Angara said.
The DOH earlier said that the generic medicines in their list were being sold "up to 4 times" the international reference prices, while branded innovator products are sold "up to 22 times higher," particularly in private hospitals and pharmacies.
The MRP of the medicine part of the list are expected to have a mean price reduction of 56% from prevailing market prices.
This would be the second batch of medicines that will be included in the MRP scheme, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9502 or the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008.
The DOH has also recommended that an executive order be signed by the President for the move.
According to the 2017 Philippine Statistics Authority data, Filipinos spent P6,090 on health expenses per year per person.
Household out-of-pocket health expenses, meanwhile, accounted for 54.5% or P373 billion of the current health expenditures in 2017. About half or P187 billion went directly to the purchase of medicines. – Rappler.com