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After all the drama prelude to the enactment of the Republic Act 9502 or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act, companies distributing medicinal drugs have finally and voluntarily cut their products prices down in half.

Prior to this, reports and speculations have arisen following the supposed “bribe” made by Pfizer Philippines, one of the big drug companies in the country to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo via the Department of Health (DOH). The believed bribe takes the form of discount cards worth five million pesos. The offer however was not accepted by the parties to whom it was offered.  

Further speculations have arisen when news hit that the president has arranged a meeting with officials of pharmaceutical companies. Senator Mar Roxas accused that the meeting was to prevent the implementation of a Maximum Retail Price (MRP). The palace however defends that the assembly was for the President to hear the side of the involved pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Mar Roxas was not impressed by the explanation however.

The palace it seems would like the lowering of prices to be voluntary instead of forced as stated by presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar during an interview in a news station. Olivar has also cited that the law grants the president the power to lower the prices but does not necessitate it. In a section of the Republic Act 9502, it states that the president with help from the DOH may impose and MRP over medicinal drugs.  

As it turns out, the companies producing the medicinal drugs has voluntarily cut their prices. Out of the twenty-one (21) drugs, fourteen (14) of those have willingly given way and lowered their prices down to 50% of the original price while the remaining others have cut down to about 30%. The affected drugs are for hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.

drug prices lowered | drug prices voluntarily lowere | medicines lowered | philippines drug lowered

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