PHAP offer to help slash drug prices to have limited benefits -DOH

Published October 25, 2019, 5:13 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Carmela Martinez

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the offer of 18 multi-national drug firms to cut their retail prices will have very limited benefits.

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)

In lieu of the Department of Health’s (DOH) bid to lower the retail prices of 120 drugs, 18 members of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) offered to cut the prices of their medicines for major non-communicable diseases, rare disorders, and infectious diseases.

“Ang tingin ko naman doon sa kanilang mungkahi ay meron naman maitutulong pero hindi rin natin makakamit doon sa kanilang inimumungkahing pamamaraan,” DOH secretary Francisco Duque III said in a radio interview with DZMM TeleRadyo.

Duque explained that even if the drug firms cut their prices, they would be unable to control the markup that would be made by the retailers.

“Mahirap na yun. Papano yung teacher ka lang o kaya police ka na ang liit-liit ng sweldo nagkaroon ka ng malubhang sakit pagpunta mo doon sa mga retailers nay an ang mahal ng presyo eh yan ganun din wala din epekto ibaba nga nila pero pagdating naman sa dulo sa supply chain, pinaka dulo ng supply chain hindi nila maibaba eh di useless, very limited din yung benefits ng kanila mungkahi,” he said.

DOH said on September that it was pushing for an executive order (EO) to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte that would slash the prices of 120 drugs, including medicines for diabetes, hypertension, newborn diseases, cancer, and psoriasis.

 
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