Roxas to GMA: Resist Barack Obama pressure on cheap meds

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today asked President Arroyo to resist pressure when he meets with US President Barack Obama who will surely defend the US pharmaceutical companies’ opposition to the immediate implementation of the Cheaper Medicines law.
"Pangulong Arroyo, okay lang na makipagpulong ka kay President Obama pero huwag kang magpapa-braso na hindi natin pabababain ang presyo ng gamot dito sa ating bansa (It’s okay if you meet with President Obama but don’t be influenced into not bringing down the prices of medicines in our country)," he said.

"Matagal ng naghihintay ang ating mga kababayan na tuparin mo ang iyong pangako. Ipatupad mo na ang batas para sa murang gamot. Ang daming oras na ang nasasayang (Our people have long been waiting for you to make true your promise. Implement the law on cheaper medicines. We are wasting a lot of time with your administration’s dilly-dallying)," he added.

The Visayan senator noted pharmaceutical lobbying in the United States is one of the strongest and most influential in the world.
"Ang mga pharmaceutical companies, malaking industriya iyan sa Amerika. Yung pharmaceutical lobby isa sa pinakamalaki, pinaka-malakas, pinakamatindi…’yung healthcare reborn, isa sa pinakamalaking isyu sa Amerika. Kasi napakatindi ng lobby ng pharmaceutical industry (The pharmaceutical industry in America is big. The pharmaceutical lobby there is very strong. The healthcare reborn is a big issue because of the lobbying of the pharmaceutical industry)," he said.
Roxas reiterated his call for President Arroyo to sign the month-old draft executive order imposing the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) on 22 most essential medicines for Filipinos.

He said even the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that 122 governments all over the world impose price regulations on medicines sold in their respective countries.
"Bakit kailangang dito sa atin ay pahirapan ang pagpapatupad nitong MRP? Ginang Arroyo, isipin mo naman ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan (Why are we having a difficult time with the implementation of this MRP? Mrs. President, be more considerate of your people)," he also said.

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