Roxas to DOH: Do your job, enforce cheap meds law

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 | posted in , , , , , | 0 comments

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas yesterday said local pharmaceutical companies could expect a more robust industry if government properly implements the one year-old Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines law.

Roxas, primary author of the law, noted the 12% reported growth of the local pharmaceutical industry just a year after medicine patent rules were relaxed.
"Magandang balita ito. Ngunit higit sanang masigla ang industriya kung maging mas masigasig pa ang pagpapatupad sa batas na ito," he said.

He added: "Ngayong nagsisimula nang talagang kumikilos ang DOH para ipatupad ang batas para sa murang gamot, maaasahan nating mas lalong mararamdaman ang magagandang epekto para sa sambayanan."
The landmark law mandates healthier competition in the pharmaceutical industry by relaxing patent rules that have hindered local pharmaceutical firms from producing generic medicines. However, the price reductions that resulted from this have not yet been enough, he said.

He reiterated his appeal to President Arroyo not to heed active lobbying by international drug companies and to instead immediately sign the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) for the top 22 prescribed medicines in the country, which the DOH endorsed to the Office of the President last June 16.
"Gloria, pirmahan mo na agad itong MRP. Patunayan mo ang pangako mong pangangalagaan mo ang kalusugan ng ating mamamayan. Pirma mo lang ang kailangan para mangalahati ang presyo ng gamot," he stressed.

"Huwag mo ng pansinin ang mga dambuhalang kumpanya na patuloy na hinaharang ang pagpapatupad ng batas. Patunayan mo ang sinseridad mo sa taumbayan," he added.
Under the DOH-proposed MRP, prices of 22 most prescribed medicines in the country would be slashed by 50%. The initial list includes anti-hypertensive, anti-cholesterol, anti-diabetic, antibiotics and anti-neoplastic drugs.

Some of these branded drugs are the anti-hypertensive drug Norvasc, the price of which would drop to P22.50 from the present P44.50; anti-diabetic Diamicron, P7.35 from P14.75; antibiotic Flagyl, P66 from P132; antibiotic Zithromax, P149.37 from P298.75; antibiotic Tazocin, P1061.86 from P2,123.75; antibiotic Augmention suspension 60 ml, P179.50 from P359; Augmentin suspension 70 ml, P439.50 from P879; and anti-neoplastic Carboplatin 450 mg vial, P2117.61 from P4857.15.

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Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

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