By Betheena Unite
After the President signed an executive order imposing maximum retail price on medicines, the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) said it will comply with order but called on the government to closely monitor its impact on the pharmaceutical industry and the public.
At the moment, PHAP said it is yet to receive an official copy of the executive order to fully understand its impact on PHAP Members and the public.
Based on its earlier proposal, the Department of Health would cap prices at the manufacturers’ level but increase the margins of retailers, which would actually result in higher prices, a contradiction between the objective and the implementation.
“PHAP has been consistent in its opposition to price control since global experience had shown that artificial measures result in market inefficiencies and lack of supply. If reasonable profits are not realized, pharmaceutical companies would review the sustainability of its operations in the Philippines, including the possible downsizing in the number of employees,” the association said in a statement.
“The Philippines would also lose its attractiveness to investments. The billions of taxes they pay would also be lost,” it added.
It also argued that “innovative drugs, or new medicines and vaccines produced from years of expensive research to address current or emerging health threats, would likely not be introduced in the Philippines.”
It can be recalled that instead of price control, PHAP earlier proposed a straight price reduction of 150 medicines and also offered a system where medicines will not be left expired and wasted in DOH warehouses.
It furthered that while PHAP shares the objective of lowering medicine prices, it appeals to the government “to consider bulk procurement and price negotiation as the more sustainable and beneficial approach.”