Price caps on meds now being fully implemented, says DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The price caps on medicines are now fully implemented, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced Thursday.
The full implementation took effect on March 23, through Executive Order No. 155, or Further Improving Access to Healthcare Through the Regulation of Prices in the Retail of Drugs and Medicines, which President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed.
“The Department of Health (DOH) is delighted to bring the good news to the Filipino people that they will now enjoy lower drug prices for more diseases amid the rising economic turmoil brought about by recent global events,” Duque said in a statement.
“The maximum drug retail prices (MDRP) will bring relief to the Filipinos all over the country as they can now better afford the medicines,” he added.
With the order, the total number of drugs with price caps are now 121 molecules or 204 drug formulations.
Among the medicines covered by the order are for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and colorectal, lung, and breast cancers.
According to the DOH, medicine costs were slashed at a median of 40 percent from current retail prices. Cuts were up to as much as 93 percent.
The DOH said that senior citizens and persons with disability are still qualified to avail special discounts on top of the price ceiling.
The health agency warned that violating the MDRP will be subject to administrative fines and penalties amounting from P50,000 to P5,000,000.
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