Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

Pharma industry pushes back on drug price control board

DRUGMAKERS said further price controls on their products will hinder the industry in recovering from the economic downturn triggered by the pandemic.

Responding Wednesday to a legislative proposal to establish a price board for drugs, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) Trustee Jannette Alcantara Jakosalem said price controls will be an added burden to the industry on top of the difficult economic environment.

“Like many industries, the pharmaceutical industry has not recovered from the pandemic. The contraction of the market reached up to minus 18% in 2020. This is evidence of our struggles. On top of our struggles, the government imposed mandatory price reductions of up to 50% for 133 pharmaceutical products,” she said at a hearing of the House Committee on Trade and Industry.

“The imposition of price controls is retrogressive and may discourage highly needed pharmaceutical investments that are crucial to economic recovery… price regulation is a disincentive to innovation and is a barrier to the entry for new life-saving medicines,” she added.

The committee was deliberating House Bills 4306 and 2578, which call for the creation of the Drug Price Regulatory Board. They propose to amend Republic Act (RA) 9502 or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008.

RA 9502 gives the President the power to impose maximum retail drug prices upon recommendation of the Secretary of Health. The proposed price board that features in both bills will be given sole authority to determine and recommend maximum retail prices.

Both bills’ explanatory notes cite the need to make innovative drugs available at affordable prices, which they claim RA 9502 did not achieve.

Ms. Jakosalem said that the government should focus on ensuring the availability of quality drugs, after past price caps discouraged the entry and restricted the supply of innovative medicines.

She said of the 166 innovative medicines registered in the US and European Union, only nine were available in the Philippines, while the price controls have also forced some products to be withdrawn from the market.

Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations Board Member Karen Alparce-Villanueva said while the organization supports the amendments, an additional agency will add to the healthcare “bureaucracy,” and called for a system expanding access to more medicines.

Any such system “needs to balance regulation and innovation so medicines can get to the country,” she said.

Ms. Jakosalem said PHAP believes that the President needs to make the final call on drug price levels, as he has direct access to the best advice of various agencies. She added that a price board represents another bureaucratic layer that may delay decision-making.

Laban Konsyumer, Inc. President Vic Dimagiba said at the hearing that the proposed price board has been considered by past Congresses, adding that the pandemic should finally push the 18th Congress to make it happen.

“We are making a plea na sanawag itong palampasin nitong 18th Congress at isabatas ang drug price regulatory board (the 18th Congress should not let this opportunity pass and approve the measure creating the drug price regulatory board),” he said.

He added that the proposed body could address any “gaps” in Executive Order No. 104 issued last year by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, which imposed price caps on the 133 medicines. — Gillian M. Cortez

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Investing

Lloyd’s of London could leave its iconic City of London headquarters after four decades in one of the most consequential signs yet of how...

Investing

As we enter a new year, I want to talk about the importance of balance, perspective, support and productivity and I’m here to make...

Investing

London-based edtech company MyTutor has acquired Fire Tech, a training platform that teaches children technology skills such as coding. The acquisition will see MyTutor...

Investing

British autonomous vehicle startup Wayve has raised $200m (£147m) in a funding round backed by Microsoft and Virgin. The London-based firm will use the...

Investing

London-based contract automation platform Juro has raised $23m (£16.9m) in a Series B funding round. The funding was led by Eight Roads, a global...

Investing

To sustain business growth, it’s crucial to create key business opportunities. Don’t be so busy in your day-to-day that you miss them … Faced...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Investing

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Investing

As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.