Hontiveros Pushes To Lower Prices Of Medicines Amid Health Emergencies

Hontiveros Pushes To Lower Prices Of Medicines Amid Health Emergencies

Spotlight

Globe Recreates The Holiday Season With #ChristmasWeLove Live Pop-Up

Join Globe as they celebrate the holiday season with #ChristmasWeLove - a series of live digital pop ups featuring fun activities for your family and friends!

Republic Cement Launches Co-Processing Solution Amid PH Waste Management Crisis

Through ecoloop, Republic Cement aims to help address the waste management crisis of the country.

Recreate The Holidays Right At Home Best With Globe At Home Unli Plans

Make your virtual get-togethers possible with Globe At Home UNLI Plans!

SM – Pasay Tech Voc Scholarship Program Launched

With the launch of the SM - Pasay Tech-Voc Scholarship Program, a full tech-voc scholarship will be awarded to 20 students from financially challenged families.

A day after Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros warned of a looming health crisis if the the government failed to address the country’s multiple health emergencies, the Senator pushed to lower the prices of medicines.

In a privilege speech delivered on Tuesday, Hontiveros, citing data from the Department of Health (DOH), explained that the prices of medicines in the country remain high and out of reach for the majority of Filipinos since medicine costs in the public sector are at least 4 times higher than international reference prices (IRP) while medicines costs in the private sector can be 22 times higher than the IRP. Meanwhile, innovator or original-branded medicines are sold in the private sector at prices 486% higher compared to similar drugs in public hospitals.

“Presyo ng gamot, hindi maabot”

“We have made significant inroads in the health sector, particularly with the passage of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law. Ngunit maaaring mabura ang mga ito kung hindi matutugunan ang isang mabigat na problema. Ano ang problema? Ang presyo ng gamot, hindi maabot,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said that most Filipinos – even those coming from middle class and upper middle class households – simply cannot afford much-needed medicines, even with assistance programs like PhilHealth. In many cases, Hontiveros said that people are forced to sell property, or just refuse treatments for their ailments so that they would not burden their families.

“Ilan pa ba ang mga Pilipinong dapat magkasakit at mamatay bago ibaba ang presyo ng gamot sa mga sakit na may lunas naman? Kailangan bang mabaon sa hirap ang pamilyang Pilipino sa tuwing may sakunang dumadating? Mura, agaran, epektibong lunas at gamot ang kailangan. Mas mahalaga ang kalusugan ng mamamayan kaysa sa tubo o kita ng iilan,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros also said that the exorbitant prices of medicines could undermine the implementation of the UHC Law, since a large share of funds will be spent on buying expensive medicines. “Nearly half or 41% of all health care spending in the Philippines has been going to pharmaceutical products. In comparison, the share of medicines in total health expenditures of other countries is as low as 19.7% in high income countries, to 30.4% in low income countries,” she said.

As a response, Hontiveros called on Malacañang to immediately exercise price control and regulatory powers granted under the Cheaper Medicines Law (RA 9502), which she co-authored in 2008 as Akbayan’s partylist representative. The Senator specifically pushed to put a price ceiling to 120 drugs and medicines for common diseases and conditions like diabetes, heart disease, asthma and types of cancer to the list of drugs with Maximum Drug Retail Prices (MDRP).

“Isang dekada na ang nakakalipas mula nang huli natin nagamit ang mandatong ito. Panahon na para muling ipatupad ito. Sa tindi ng krisis sa pambansang kalusugan na ating dinadanas, kailangan mabilis, malawakan at mapagkalinga ating tugon at solusyon,” Hontiveros concluded.

Photo Credit: facebook.com/hontiverosrisa

Palace Welcomes LGU Initiative To Buy Covid-19 Vaccines

“We appreciate po and welcome the initiatives of LGUs na maglaan ng sariling pondo para makabili ng bakuna. Ang problema lang po talaga ay iyong availability…” says Presidential Spox Harry Roque.

‘Little Batanes’ Of Pangasinan Temporarily Closed To Tourists

The Bagbag Beach or more popularly known as the ‘Little Batanes’ of Pangasinan will be temporarily closed to tourists and residents from outside the town due to the sudden influx of tourists.

Gatchalian Amends DOE Budget To Cushion Effects Of High Energy Costs

Sen. Win Gatchalian proposed an additional P46 million for next year to fund studies on new technologies that will maximize indigenous resources.

OPM Singer April Boy Regino Dies

OPM icon April Boy may be gone but his music and his songs will be forever in our hearts.

Bea Alonzo, Wala Na Sa Star Magic

Namaalam na ang Aktres na si Bea Alonzo sa kanyang talent agency na Star Magic pagkatapos ng 19 na taon.

SMC Nears Completion Of P352-M Sustainable Housing Community For Relocatees In Quezon

Once completed, the new integrated agro-industrial complex will help generate jobs and help the local and national economy come back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDSA-Bagong Barrio U-Turn Slot Closed On Dec. 7

In line with the DOTr’s EDSA Busway project, the U-turn slot located along EDSA in the Bagong Barrio area will be closed effective December 7.

Harmonization Of Protocols Needed In Tourism Recovery

The Philippines is slowly opening its doors to tourists as the country eases its travel restrictions.

Pacquiao Gets ‘Clean Air Champion’ Award, Urges Tree Planting

Boxing champion and Senator Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao is urging the public to plant more trees as part of measures to save the environment.