DOH to public hospitals, clinics: Use drug price ceiling
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 25, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has reminded public hospitals and health facilities to adhere to the Drug Price Reference Index (DPRI), which provides a price ceiling for drugs.

It warned that non-compliance could lead to administrative penalties.

The first offense would mean a written warning and a request for the chief of hospital to explain the non-compliance, while the second offense would merit an endorsement to the legal service for probable filing of charges.

The DOH noted the Health Action International report in 2009, which cited “extreme variability in the procurement prices of essential medicine in the national and local public health facilities in the country.”

“On average, originator brands and generic equivalents were procured almost 16 times and three times higher, respectively, compared to prices available on the international market,” the DOH said.

The DPRI, released in September 2014, sets the mandatory price ceiling government hospitals and health facilities must comply with when buying medicine. It was aimed at guiding all public health facilities in the fair pricing of essential medicine and to increase the efficiency in the drug procurement process of the public sector.

“The high and extremely variable prices of medicine in the Philippines impact on access to effective, efficient and equitable health care,” the DOH stressed in Administrative Order 2015-0051 issued on Dec. 17.

Among all the medicine procured by DOH hospitals, the Top 10 most commonly procured cost the agency around P67 million. With compliance with the drug price reference, the DOH could potentially save as much as 50 percent or around P33 million.

ACIRC ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DOH DRUG PRICE REFERENCE INDEX FACILITIES HEALTH HEALTH ACTION INTERNATIONAL MEDICINE PRICE PUBLIC
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