Roxas vows to include more medicines under cheaper medicine law

By Aaron Recuenco

Senatorial candidate Mar Roxas vowed Wednesday to include more expensive medicines in the implementation of the Cheaper Medicine Law if elected in the coming midterm polls.

Currently, various maintenance medicines for high blood, cancer, and diabetes are covered by the law which reduced their prices by up to more than 50 percent.

Senatorial candidate Mar Roxas greets supporters during his campaign series at Pasay Public Market on Saturday, March 2 2019. (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senatorial candidate Mar Roxas greets supporters during his campaign series at Pasay Public Market on Saturday, March 2, 2019. (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

Among them were the Norvasc for high blood— from P50 to P20—and Diamicron for diabetes which is from P30 to P20-P25.

“It has been more than a decade so there are new medicines available in the market. When I go back to the Senate, I will work on that, bring down the prices further and include more maintenance medicines on the list,” said Roxas.

Roxas authored and fought for the passage of the Cheaper Medicine Law despite intense opposition and lobbying from giant pharmaceutical companies. It was enacted in 2008.

Roxas said that his motivation for the passage of the Cheaper Medicine Law was the financial burden they suffered for his younger brother who battled but eventually lost to cancer.

“As I was looking after him in the hospital, that was the time I found out that medicines were so expensive. If our family, who are so-called ‘comfortable’ in life, found the cost of medicines prohibitive, how much more the general public?” said Roxas.

“So when I was given the chance, I drafted the bill, lobbied for it and had it passed to make the ‘Cheaper Medicine Law’ possible,” he added.

Based on the latest survey, Roxas is among those who have a chance to make it to the top 12 for the coming midterm elections.

 
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