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Local drug firms urged to price products reasonably

- Marianne V. Go () - February 17, 2004 - 12:00am
Trade and Industry Secretary Cesar V. Purisima appealed yesterday to local drug companies to be reasonable in pricing their medicines.

"We appeal to drug companies to make their medicines more accessible to consumer by reasonably pricing them," Purisima said.

Purisima noted that drug prices have become very expensive and that "getting sick is becoming a luxurious expense."

He expressed the view that "genuine healthcare service also means making medicines within reach of the poor."

Purisima pointed out that social pricing of medicines should be done by pharmaceutical firms on a national level as majority of the country’s family income is on a subsistence level.

The DTI chief added that "it will be a big relief if consumers obtain their much-needed medicines at a discount."

The Philippines, Purisima said, "can only be progressive if it has a healthy working population and the key to that is affordable medicine."

Pharmaceutical firms, Purisima said, could take a cue from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) which recently lowered the prices of its essential medicines by 34 percent through its Value Health program.

On the other hand, Purisima urged the public to opt for branded, but cheaper essential medicines through the DTI’s "Presyong Tama, Gamot Pampamilya program which is available in government hospitals.

The "Presyong Tama, Gamot Pampamilya" program was started by former Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

DRUG GAMOT PAMPAMILYA MEDICINES PRESYONG TAMA PRICING PROGRAM PURISIMA TRADE AND INDUSTRY SECRETARY CESAR V TRADE AND INDUSTRY SECRETARY MANUEL ROXAS VALUE HEALTH
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