Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) and Maximum Wholesale Prices (MWP) of more than 130 types of drugs will eventually be regulated as a result of Executive Order 104 or “Improving Access to Healthcare through the Regulation of Prices in the Retail of Drugs and Medicines” signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in a step to curb high out-of-pocket health expenditure among Filipinos.
There are 86 drug molecules and 133 drug formulas, reviewed by the Department of Health (DOH) upon consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), included in the list. Such drugs and medicines were determined based on four criteria:
- Drugs for illnesses that are the leading cause of morbidity or mortality like anti-hypertensives, anti-cancer, analgesics and painkillers, antidiabetic, anticoagulants or blood thinners, among others
- Drugs that have a high price differential compared to international prices
- Drugs that lack generic counterparts or competition in the market, and
- Drugs considered as innovator products, most expensive, but are most prescribed and/or dispensed in the market
Both departments will convene to study the prices of the remaining 36 drug molecules or 72 drug formulas. In addition, the DOH and DTI will also consult with the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), on the subject of pooled procurement and price negotiation to further reduce drug prices.
The MWP will be imposed on all manufacturers, wholesalers, traders, and distributors while the MRP will affect all retailers such as drugstores, hospital pharmacies, HMO providers, and modern retail stores which all have ninety (90) days to dispose of inventory stocks at current prices or implement the capped prices.
(Sources: Philippine News Agency, Business Mirror, The Philippine Star)