Archive for June, 2009

AGAP bats for removal of discount cards issued by pharma companies

Posted on June 18, 2009. Filed under: News |

The crusade Ayos na Gamot sa Abot-kayang Presyo (AGAP), together with Cut the Cost Cut the Pain Network (3CPNet), calls for the immediate issuance of an Administrative Order that will effectively remove discount cards being offered by some pharmaceutical companies as a means of dominating the market, as presented during the 2nd Quality and Affordable Medicines Oversight Committee Meeting last May 05, 2009. If pharmaceutical companies can sell their drugs at discounted prices, they should and by all means offer it to all.

But then, Pfizer, the country’s leading research-based pharmaceutical company, has started a media campaign to prevent the implementation of the said AO. AGAP believe that this move will cause deception to consumers as it will create an impression that people who are holders of said discount cards will be saving more. Yet, the reality is that these discount cards are discriminatory acts as they are given only to limited populace. 5 Million out of 90 Million Filipinos? Surely, Pfizer’s act of giving these discount cards is pegged on an interest to dominate the market again.

Based on an article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last Sunday, “Doctors highly require hypertensive patients to strictly adhere to their prescriptions. Six years ago, Pfizer launched a partnership program with doctors. At the point of diagnosis patients are provided with references and follow-ups for continuous adherence to their doctor’s advice. Cardiovascular patients are prescribed with amlodipine besylate and with educational materials that promote compliance to medication.”

The rationale is that patients are bound to follow what their doctors prescribed and issuance of discount cards to these patients limits the consumer decision in terms of brand selection. Moreover, patients will have a conclusion that this medicine of the said company is more effective than others as they are the one’s being endorsed by their trusted doctors.

Let’s not forget the fact that Pfizer is a profit-oriented entity. Amidst the competition, these programs are not designed to address the people’s concern instead these are their ways of dominating the pharmaceutical industry, from doctors’ prescription to patients’ purchasing decision! Because when we say meaningful competition it means there should be no limitations in terms of options.

Isn’t it the responsibility of our government to prevent monopolistic actions like these that hinders healthy competition, as such our government should not be blinded by Pfizer’s dirty tactics.

We urge the government to support DOH in its mandate to provide greater access to affordable and quality medicines for the Filipinos and enforce the AO to abolish discount cards.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...