President Duterte has regulated the prices of more drugs and medicines for the leading causes of morbidity in the country, a Palace official said on Wednesday, Dec. 8.
Duterte signed on Tuesday Executive Order No. 155, which sets the price regulation through Maximum Retail Price (MRP) and/or Maximum Wholesale Price (MW) for 34 drug molecules and 71 drug formulas used in agents affecting the following:
•chronic obstructive pulmonary disease medicines
Also covered by the EO are drug molecules and formulas used in anti-glaucoma, anti-hypercholesterolemia medicines, antihypertensive medicines, anti-neoplastic/anti-cancer medicines, antiparkinsons drugs, drugs for overactive bladders, growth hormone inhibitors, immunosuppressant drugs, iron chelating agents, and psoriasis, seborrhea and ichthyosis medicines.
“This is part of efforts to improve access to affordable, quality medicines and reduce the health-related expenses of our countrymen, consistent with the goals of the Universal Health Care Act,” acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles said in a statement.
The EO requires all manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, traders, and retailers to “display the retail price which shall not exceed the MRP.”
Last year, the President signed EO 104 setting the retail price of certain drugs and medicines that are being used to address morbidity affecting Filipinos.
In his new order, the Department of Health (DOH), in consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is tasked to review the list of medicines and their corresponding MRPs and MWPs six months from the effectivity of the EO, and every six months thereafter.
Violations of the EO shall be dealt with in accordance with RA No. 9502—the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008—and other related laws.
The new order states that “pursuant to Section 19 of RA No. 9502, the Secretary of Health is directed to investigate alleged violations of the MRP and/or MWP under this Order, impose administrative fines and penalties, and call upon and deputize government entities for assistance necessary to carry out the purpose of this Order.”
Under the law, the DOH secretary has the power to impose administrative fines of not less than P50,000 nor more than P5 million.