Hontiveros to DOH: Name “Big Pharmas” Blocking Moves To Lower Price Of Medicines

Hontiveros to DOH: Name “Big Pharmas” Blocking Moves To Lower Price Of Medicines


EDSA Busway System To Implement Fully Cashless Transactions With Beep Cards

Cashless transactions via Beep card will begin on October 1.

SM Wins At 2019 Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards

The SM Investments Corporation has bagged yet again another award!

7 Commandments To Revitalize The Country Safely

Medical experts recommend strict health protocols for public transportation.

Alibaba Cloud Launches New Digital Ecosystem Strategy In The Philippines

This will help local businesses adapt further to the new normal!

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros has called on the Department of Health (DOH) to identify the pharmaceutical firms that are reportedly blocking the move to lower the price of medicines, particularly 120 drugs and medicines for common diseases and conditions like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and different types of cancer.

During the plenary deliberation of the DOH’s budget for 2020 on Tuesday night, Hontiveros said that there is reportedly a strong lobby from several pharmaceutical companies opposing the proposed use of government’s regulatory powers under the Cheaper Medicines Act (RA 9502) to lower the “unfair and anti-poor” prices of much-needed medicines nationwide.

Hontiveros, who was also the co-author of the Cheaper Medicines Law when she was Akbayan Partylist Representative, said that if reports are true, the firms should be named and subsequently queried why they are opposing the initiative to lower the prices of medicines and why their medicines are more expensive than their international reference prices (IRP).

“Nanawagan ako sa DOH na pangalanan ang mga pharmaceutical companies na mas inuuna pa ang kanilang malalaking tubo at kita kaysa sa buhay at kalusugan ng mamamayan. Sa panahon na kaliwa’t kanan ang epidemiya at mga nagkakasakit, ang presyo ng gamot ay hindi dapat dagdag-pasakit,” Hontiveros said.

It was reported that an association of pharmaceutical companies dismissed the proposal to impose Maximum Drug Retail Prices (MDRP) on 120 medicines for various illnesses like hypertension, asthma, and diabetes as “contentious and counterproductive.” The companies said that they will talk to the DOH “so that government does not have to resort to price control.”

“While I welcome the willingness of pharmaceutical companies to work towards improving the country’s healthcare system, I would like to remind them that it is the exorbitant prices of medicines charged in both public and private sectors which has undermined the effective delivery of health services, to the detriment of poor and even middle-class families,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said that the prices of medicines in the Philippines remain high and out of reach of the majority of Filipinos. She also explained that nearly half or 41 percent of healthcare spending in the Philippines is used to purchase pharmaceutical products, as compared to high-income countries (19.7 percent) and other low-income countries (30.4 percent).

A study commissioned by the DOH says that on average, the prices in the Philippines are still significantly higher than IRP. In the public sector, medicine prices are up to 4 times higher than IRP while in the private sector, they can go up to 22 times higher.

7K Poor Families In Soccsksargen To Get P45.1-M Livelihood Aid

Around 7,000 families hit by COVID-19 have been provided assistance in Soccsksargen.

PLDT Begins Clean-Up Of Idle Copper Cables

PLDT launches a cleanup drive to remove copper cables that are no longer in use.

The Lost Bread Launches Filipino Inspired Ice Cream Flavors

Did someone say champorado ice cream?!

Hospitals ‘Strictly Prohibited’ From Charging For Donated PPE Use

According to Vergeire, aside from the donated PPE, pieces of hospital-acquired PPE may be charged to patients during the COVID-19 health emergency response period as per Department Memorandum 2020-0269.

Smile Train Philippines Celebrates World Smile Day

Make sure to witness the launch of #540Today, which conveys that 540 babies around the world are born with a cleft every day.

EDSA Busway System To Implement Fully Cashless Transactions With Beep Cards

Cashless transactions via Beep card will begin on October 1.

Internet Hotspots Installed In Ilocos Norte Schools

Community internet hotspots in the towns of Pinili, Paoay, Currimao, and Badoc in the second district of Ilocos Norte are currently being tested to ensure all learners can connect under the new normal education system.

DepEd: 88.8% Of Target Learners Have Enrolled

A total of 24,661,768 learners have enrolled nationwide out of the targeted 27,770,263 learners who enrolled in the previous academic year.

Eleazar: Beerhouses, Bars Still Banned Even In Areas Under MGCQ

Operations of beerhouses and similar establishments remain prohibited even in areas under the most relaxed MGCQ, said Eleazar.

Iza Finds Out Sam And Jodi’s Secret In ‘Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin’

Suspicions and questions will be answered this October 1st on "Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin".