At a press conference, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo yesterday said the DOH is submitting to President Duterte a list of 120 drugs for the imposition of maximum drug retail prices (MDRP).
Manjunath Kiran/AFP
DOH mulls price reduction for 120 drugs
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - September 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is seeking a reduction of over 50 percent in the prices of 120 life-saving medicines in the country.

At a press conference, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo yesterday said the DOH is submitting to President Duterte a list of 120 drugs for the imposition of maximum drug retail prices (MDRP). 

“Prices of selected medicines are expected to have a mean price reduction of 56 percent from the prevailing market prices once an executive order is signed by President Duterte,” said Domingo.  

He expects the President to issue the EO for the imposition of MDRP by October. 

Domingo said the proposed list covers 120 drugs for the treatment of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic lung diseases, neonatal diseases and major cancers.

The list also covers high cost treatments for chronic renal disease, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis which were requested by several patient organizations and medical societies for inclusion in the price reduction efforts of government.

Domingo said the proposed list of drugs to be included in the price regulation was recommended by the Drug Price Advisory Council, created in August 2018 following the directive of the President to employ all possible mechanisms to make medicine affordable to Filipinos.

Domingo said the price of one of the anti-cancer drugs will be cut down from the current P4,300 per tablet to P2,900. 

John Wong of the Drug Price Advisory Committee said the medicines were chosen based on the burden of disease in terms of magnitude and severity of conditions, high price arbitrage when compared with selected reference countries and the presence of limited competition.

According to Wong, cost of medicine in the Philippines is significantly higher compared to neighboring countries in Asia. 

While the general trend in the prices of generic essential medicines has gone down in recent years, Domingo said the Philippines is still paying higher prices when compared internationally.

He said generic drugs are still sold up to four times the international reference prices, whereas branded innovator products are sold up to 22 times higher, especially in private hospitals and pharmacies.

“We need to impose the MDRP if we want better health and societal outcomes for Filipinos,” Domingo said.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH MAXIMUM DRUG RETAIL PRICES
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