Photo from Pixabay shows various kinds of medicines.
35 more high cost medicines under review for price cap — DOH
( - February 18, 2020 - 2:38pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said Tuesday it is working to include more medicines on the list of critical drugs covered by the executive order that sets a maximum drug price ceiling.  

President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order on the maximum drug retail price, cutting the retail prices of some 87 high cost medicines by up to 58%.

“DOH, together with the Department of Trade and Industry and stakeholders, was also tasked to review the price reduction of the remaining 35 drugs to finalize the list covered by the EO,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press briefing.

The agency initially recommended that 122 medicines be included in the second phase of the MDRP implementation. Drugs included in the proposal are used to treat chronic lung diseases, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and major cancers.

The proposed list also includes high cost treatments for chronic renal disease, psoriasis, prematurity and rheumatoid arthritis.

Duque said the MDRP is still subject to special discounts to senior citizens and persons with disability.

“Let’s assume 7% of the country’s population account for senior citizens. So that will be about 7 million of our 100 plus million population. So that’s the immediate impact on them. On top of their senior citizen discount, they also have MDRP that will slash the price of medicines by almost half,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

In signing the order, Duterte noted that expensive healthcare “pushes a significant number of Filipinos to poverty” and “discourages them from seeking appropriate medical treatment.” — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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