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PIA Press Release

Cheaper medicines to be enjoyed by public soonest

By Miriam P. Aquino

San Fernando City, La Union (13 November) -- Just in time with the ongoing global turmoil, the recent signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Cheaper Medicines Act can help ease the burden being felt by consumers as they will soon be enjoying cheaper drugs and medicines.

According to the Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque, prices can now be regulated under the IRR that would eventually lead to a lowered price of drugs and medicines to be expected by the public, as it would even pave way for quality yet affordable generic drugs and at the same time rationalize the behavior of medical professionals and government health workers because of the amendment to the Generics law.

He added that the IRR can also impose on the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) to come up with better service packages so that the "out-of-pocket" expenditures of the public will be reduced and patients will be substantially reimbursed.

The health Secretary noted that the IRR allows the purchase of over-the-counter drugs and medicines in non-traditional outlets like supermarkets, which makes shopping even easier making all the needed food, other domestic supplies and medicines all available in just one roof.

Intellectual Property Office Director-General Adrian Cristobal said that an IPO provision allows off-patent and patented affordable and quality drugs and medicines to reach the local market thru parallel importation, provided these products meet the requirements and standards of the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD).

Duque said that before the IRR has been created, the Department of Health (DOH) together with the IPO gathered public opinions and conducted separate public hearings to ensure the participation of the people from different sectors to be able to come up with what they say, a more sound and reasonable IRR which was crafted not just from the ideas of the government sector but with a touch of the general public's point of view which made them feel some sense of ownership to the law being implemented.

The DOH said that the IRR will take effect 15 days after its publication last November 5. (PIA La Union) [top]

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