NGOs: ‘Cheaper medicines’ IRR fall short. No parallel importation, drug developmen

Posted on January 26, 2009. Filed under: News |

By Dona Pazzibugan
Published by: Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:52:00 10/30/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Civil society groups have complained that the
draft implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act No.
9502, or the Cheaper Medicines Law, appear to not fully reflect the
core provisions of the landmark legislation.

The groups, Cut the Cost Cut the Pain Network (3CPNet), Oxfam and Ayos
na Gamot sa Abot Kayang Presyo (AGAP, Proper Medicines at Affordable
Prices) said the draft IRR do not contain rules on “parallel
importation,” which would allow the government and private groups to
import patented medicines from countries where they are sold cheaper.

They said the draft also did not specify how local generic drug
manufacturers could make use of the “early working principle” that
would allow them to begin developing medicines even before their
patents expire.

RA 9502, or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines
Act of 2008, was signed into law in June after years in the
legislative mill.

The law seeks to bring down the prices of medicine by encouraging more
competition in the local market mainly through the parallel
importation of cheaper quality drugs.

The Department of Health and Intellectual Property Office have ended
public consultations and are expected to issue the IRR on November 4.

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