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PIA Press Release

PGMA on track with cheap medicine target

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (23 July) -- Cheap medicines have been made available in Region XI through the almost 600 Botika ng Barangay established in various areas.

This was made as a priority by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address delivered last year targeting to offer cheaper medicines to the public.

Department of Health XI reported that Botika ng Barangay (BnB) is one of the most appreciated programs of the said department as it answers the health and economic difficulties of the people.

The BnB is a drug outlet managed by either a community organization, or non-government organization, or the local government unit. The program aims to promote equity in health by ensuring the availability and accessibility of affordable, safe and effective, quality, essential drugs to all, with priority for marginalized, underserved, critical and hard to reach areas.

It was also this year that PGMA's priority bill, the cheap medicine bill, was approved in the senate. The bill would allow for the president and the health secretary to form a board that would lower the price of medicine.

Authored by Senator Mar Roxas, it signaled the end of the regime of the big foreign pharmaceutical firms that have been earning a lot in the country.

The bill provides that the pharmaceutical firm no longer has the patent right on the prices of medicines. Another feature of the bill is the freedom of the government to import medicines made by foreign firms which offer cheaper medicines. These firms are those coming from India and Pakistan.

, the region through the funding from the national government was able to build Sentrong Sigla facilities, and provided almost P50 million for hospital assistance. (PIA) [top]

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