Imee Marcos wants all drugs exempt from VAT
Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos called yesterday for all medicines to be exempted from value-added tax (VAT) as she pushed for a review of the cheaper medicines law.

“There will be a bigger decrease in the prices of medicines once the VAT is removed,” she said.

Marcos, who is running for a Senate seat, said Republic Act 9502 or the cheaper medicines law failed to make medicines more affordable because certain provisions in the law favor the interests of big pharmaceutical companies in the country.

Ten years after the law was passed, the prices of medicines, particularly for critical diseases and illnesses, remain exortbitant.

She said that to drastically bring down the prices of medicines, removing the VAT on all medicines is necessary.

Marcos said exempting the sale of medicines for diabetes, cholesterol and hypertension is not enough.

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act or TRAIN law mandates the removal of the 12-percent VAT on medicines for diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. The exemption took effect yesterday.

The VAT exemption will apply to the “sale by manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers” of the medicines, which will be identified by the Food and Drug Authority.

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