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DOH drafting order to lower prices of expensive medicines

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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) will draft an executive order (EO) that will recommend bringing down the prices of expensive medicines.

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“We have about 120 to 124 molecules [that is, medicines] subject to a possible or probable maximum drug retail price which we will draft an executive order and submit it to the Office of the President,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said during the “In Focus” forum held on Saturday in Quezon City.

“So this is a very important component of the Universal Health Care Law: We need to bring down prices of very expensive drugs and medicines,” he added.

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In September, the health department released a list of medicines that would have reduced prices under a maximum drug retail price (MDRP) scheme.

The list includes medicines for as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung diseases, and major cancers.

READ: DOH eyes price reduction of 120 high-cost medicines

Duque then cited an example: If you’re a teacher or a police officer who has cancer and you spend P1 million, you will spend all your money.

“You will be an indigent overnight. That is why we really need to bring [the prices] down,” Duque said. “This is the only agenda that we have is to make more accessible and bring down the price barriers to quality medicines, especially deadly diseases.”

/atm

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