The Senate last year approved the Universal Health Care Bill, which aims to ensure that all Filipinos, regardless of income and financial status, have access to medical treatment by enrolling them in the National Health Insurance Program.
Pixabay
Universal healthcare seen benefiting generic-drug makers
(Philstar.com) - January 11, 2019 - 5:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ bid to achieve universal health coverage for a greater proportion of its population could present growth opportunities for makers of cheaper pharmaceuticals, a Fitch unit said Friday.

The Senate last year approved the Universal Health Care Bill, which aims to ensure that all Filipinos, regardless of income and financial status, have access to medical treatment by enrolling them in the National Health Insurance Program.

While both chambers of Congress have passed the measure, Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, principal sponsor and author of the measure, early this week said the bill has been ratified but has not yet been transmitted to Malacañang.

In a commentary sent to reporters, Fitch Solutions Macro Research said expanding the Philippines’ healthcare provision could bring “robust growth opportunities” for manufacturers of generic medicines, which are 50-70 percent cheaper than their branded counterparts.

“The government will increasingly favour low-cost generic medicines and has already passed legislation which makes it mandatory for public hospitals to prescribe generic versions of medicines where available,” Fitch Solutions explained.

“Moreover, the enactment of the [Universal Health Care] bill in October 2018 will ensure all Filipinos will have access to quality and affordable medicines without causing financial hardship,” it added, noting that the measure requires drug outlets to carry generic drugs “at all times.”

Data provided by Fitch Solutions showed generic drug sales in the Philippines totalled P73.7 billion ($1.56 billion) in 2017, representing 62.43 percent of prescription sales and 45.44 percent of the total market.

“By 2022, we forecast generic drug sales to total P97.3 billion ($1.83 billion), representing a compound annual growth rate of 5.7 percent in local currency terms and 3.2 percent in US dollar terms,” the Fitch unit said.

“Although the government is set to play a greater role in the health sector as part of the universal healthcare programme, the expansion of coverage and services is also expected to open the door for increased private sector participation,” it added. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE BILL
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with