Duterte imposes price cap on certain medicines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 17) — President Rodrigo Duterte signed Monday an executive order imposing a price cap on certain drugs and medicines, including those used for the management and treatment of hypertension, diabetes and cancer.

Executive Order No. 104 imposes a cap on either or both the retail prices or wholesale prices of 86 drug molecules or 133 drug formulas pursuant to Republic Act No. 9502 or the Cheaper Medicines Act.

The order also covers some immunosuppressants, analgesics, anti-asthma medications, anti-coagulants, anti-agina drugs, antidepresants, and drugs used in the treatment of psoriasis, seborrhea and icthyosis.

The Department of Health originally proposed to impose a price cap on 122 drug molecules or 205 drug formulas.

The order mandates the creation of a technical working group composed of representatives from the DOH and the Department of Trade and Industry within 30 days to review the prices of the drugs which did not make it into the new price regulation.

The Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association of the Philippines offered in December a counterproposal wherein they would voluntarily cut the prices of some medicines by 50 to 75 percent instead of imposing a new regulation.