Hontiveros’ request for cheaper medicines now approved; thankful after Duterte signed EO
QUEZON CITY —- [UPDATED] Executive Order No. 104, entitled, ‘Improving Access to Healthcare Through the Regulation of Prices in the Retail of Drugs and Medicines was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte Monday which would set cap on the maximum retail prices of selected medicines.
The Executive Order will adjust current prices in the market through a maximum retail price (MRP), a maximum wholesale price (MWP) and a price reduction of 56%.
“We all know that a lot of Filipinos need medicines like medication for diabetes, hypertension, cancer and other medicines,” Senate Health committee chair Bong Go said.
Go added that Filipinos suffer because they don’t have any choice but to buy expensive medications.
The Department of Health earlier requested regulation for over 120 drugs against several diseases and health conditions common to Filipinos and estimated that more or less 7 million senior citizens will benefit from this order.
The Maximum Retail Prices will be imposed in all public and private retail outlets, including drugstores, hospitals, and hospital pharmacies, health maintenance organizations, convenience stores and supermarkets while the Maximum Wholesale prices will be imposed on all manufacturers, wholesalers, traders, and distributors.
The Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) which represents the research-based pharmaceutical sector in the country warned that the EO will kill small retailers and will force manufacturers to reconsider creating new medicines.
Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros said she is “thankful” for the healthy exercise of the President’s regulatory powers.
“The signing of this EO prioritized people’s welfare over the lobbying of big pharma,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros authored Republic Act No. 9502, or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008, which provided limit on prices of medicines.
The Executive Order allowed medicines to be disposed on its current prices within 90 days of the EO’s effectivity.