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Duterte to sign executive order limiting drug prices

/ 03:16 AM January 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday vowed to sign an executive order imposing a limit on prices of vital, lifesaving medicines as proposed by the Department of Health.

“I will sign it. I will sign it. That’s good for the Filipino, reduced prices or maintaining a price. I will even sign the document twice over,” Duterte said in a radio interview.

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The President was referring to the proposed maximum drug retail price scheme, which would impose a cap on prices of 122 medicines for more than 40 diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung diseases, neonatal diseases and major cancers.

Health, economic balance

Last month, the Department of Justice said the draft of the proposed executive order was being revised with the help of the Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority and the Philippine Competition Commission to ensure that the plan would have both health and economic balance.

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The imposition of a limit on prices of medicines is provided for in Republic Act No. 9502, or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008.

Mr. Duterte said the draft executive order had not yet reached his desk in Malacañang.

“None yet. Maybe they are reviewing it. If it’s on my table at night, I read it. I have not come across any. I’ve heard of it but hard facts are not yet there. But in principle, I will even sign it twice over,” he added.

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