‘Use gov’t fund to import drugs’

Posted on July 21, 2009. Filed under: News |

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:01:00 07/19/2009

Filed Under: Medicines, Laws, Government

MANILA, Philippines—Health advocates have called on the government to use the economic stimulus fund earmarked for public services to import essential medicines immediately, saying that this was a crucial part of public service.

According to the Ayos na Gamot sa Abot-kayang Presyo (Agap) Coalition, the government must take the lead in the importation of essential medicines.

“In the same way that billions in public funds are appropriated and spent to import rice and subsidize local palay prices annually to ensure the stable supply and price of rice, the same treatment must be accorded to finance the importation of essential medicines,” Agap said.

The coalition groups 17 sectoral associations like the Fair Trade Alliance, Association of Barangay Health Workers, Federation of Philippine Industries, and Citizens Alliance for Consumer Power.

Agap also includes influential individuals such as incumbent and former senators, doctors and business leaders.

According to Agap, current proposals to set maximum retail prices (MRP) for 22 essential medicines or for pharmaceutical firms to voluntarily reduce the prices of these drugs by half were merely palliative measures.

“Due to their very limited coverage to 22 medicines, the benefits would be restricted to the few who take these medicines,” the group said.

“What is needed is to introduce competition in the market through substantial parallel importation,” it said.

At the same time, the Health Alliance for Democracy (Head), a group of health workers and advocates, said President Macapagal-Arroyo should not hedge in signing an executive order (EO) on the MRP.

“The Arroyo administration should not be held captive by investment considerations because pharmaceutical multinationals have long recouped their investments and amassed huge profits at the expense of Filipino life and limb,” said Geneve E. Rivera, secretary general of Head. Ronnel W. Domingo


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

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

%d bloggers like this: