‘Unfair’ to accuse hospitals of overpricing remdesivir — PHA
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) on Friday said it is “unfair” to accuse hospitals of overpricing the antiviral drug remdesivir used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, saying hospitals are only selling the drug based on the price set by distributors.
PHA president Dr. Jaime Almora said some hospitals are selling the drug at P25,000 because of its expensive price from the distributors, even as the Department of Health (DOH) said the drug should be sold cheaper.
“Naglabas ang DOH ng presyo ng remdesivir na P5,000. ‘Yung mga hospitals naman, especially sa private hospitals, ang binibili nila P25,000 o kaya a little bit less, let’s say P23,000, P24,000, so binebenta ng P25,000,” Almora told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(The DOH said the price of the remdesivir should be P5,000. Hospitals, especially private hospitals, buy the drug at P25,000, or let’s say a little bit less at P23,000 or P24,000, so they sell it at P25,000.)
“Dahil sa pronouncement ng DOH na P5,000 ang remdesivir, lumalabas tuloy na nag-ooverprice ang hospital. Napakasakit po nyan. Kasalanan ng DOH ‘yan,” he said.
(Because of the pronouncement of the DOH that remdesivir costs P5,000, it appears that hospitals are overpricing. It hurts to hear that. It is the fault of the DOH.)
Almora also lamented that people believe that hospitals are overpricing the drug for COVID-19 patients.
“Very unfair ‘yung ginagawa ng DOH. Pinapalabas niya tuloy na ang mga hospital ay masasama, naniniwala naman ang mga tao na overpricing ‘yun. Eh ‘yun ang bigay ng distributor eh,” he further said.
(The DOH is very unfair. They made us look that hospitals are at fault and people believed that we were overpricing the drug. But that was the price given by the distributor.)
Almora noted that distributors may also be jacking up the price of remdesivir due to its limited supply. He added that hospitals, in turn, need to set a higher price for the drug in order to make a profit and upgrade its services and equipment.
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