Gov’t asked to spare all medicines from 12% VAT
The Duterte administration should spare all kinds of medicines from the 12-percent value-added tax (VAT) to help poor Filipinos in their medical needs, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos on Tuesday said.
Marcos issued the call as the government started to exempt from VAT the maintenance drugs for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol as part of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.
At the same time, she urged lawmakers to revisit RA No. 9502, or the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008, for its supposed failure to bring down the selling price of medicines due to “provisions [of] the law that favor the interests of big pharmaceutical companies in the country.”
“We need to revise the Cheaper Medicines Act and make it more people-friendly as originally intended,” Marcos said in a statement.
The law, she said, was enacted with the goal of making medicines more affordable.
“But ten years after it was passed, prices of medical drugs, especially for critical diseases and illnesses, remained exorbitant,” she said.
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