DOH warns sanctions for overpricing remdesivir
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) warned of sanctions against distributors and hospitals that are overpricing remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 patients on Friday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the suggested retail price for a 100-milligram vial of the COVID-19 investigational drug ranges from P1,500 as the lowest and P8,200 as the highest, based on a price survey.
“‘Yan ang base sa ebidensya at ito ang pwedeng ibigay lang na presyo ng ating mga suppliers, distributors, at tsaka mga ospital na nagbibigay nito. Liban dyan, kung kayo ay tataas, you will face sanctions from the national government,” she told an online media briefing.
(This is based on evidence and this is the only price that can be provided by suppliers, distributors, and hospitals. If you increase prices, you will face sanctions from the national government.)
Vergeire said this in response to the remark of Dr. Jaime Almora, president of the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA), calling the DOH unfair for setting a price cap for the remdesivir. Almora said that some hospitals are selling the drug for P25,000 because of its expensive price from distributors.
Vergeire, however, said the DOH was just fulfilling its mandate in releasing information on the SRP of medicines.
“We are not being unfair. Ginagawa lang namin ang aming tungkulin para sa ating populasyon (We are just fulfilling our mandate for the population) which is stated in different laws in the country,” she added.
She said the DOH also aims to ease the financial burden on the public during a public health emergency, when some manufacturers usually overprice essential medicines.
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