Drug firms have 10 days to lower medicine prices: Palace

July 11, 2009 7:26 pm 

MANILA, July 11 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has given drug companies 10 days or until July 18 to reduce their prices by half in line with the implementation of the cheaper medicines law.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde made this clear in a radio interview this morning as he brushed aside claims that Malacanang has something to do with the delayed implementation of the law.

Remonde was referring to insinuations of a conspiracy made by Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas when the President met with officials of pharmaceutical firms last Wednesday, during an inspection of the old Singian hospital inside the Malacanang complex.

“We welcome criticism and we welcome the interest of Senator Mar Roxas to implement the cheaper medicines law at once. After all, he and the President have the same intentions on this issue. But I hope he would stop making political capital out of unfairly lambasting the President which is too much,” Remonde said.

The Press Secretary also sees malice on the part of Senator Roxas in serving a subpoena to President Arroyo for Monday morning’s Senate hearing on the delayed implementation of the cheaper medicines law.

“I am sure Mar Roxas knows that it is against rules to invite the head of a co-equal branch of government. If he does not know this then he has no right to aspire for the presidency. But if he knows this, then obviously he knows that what he is doing is politicking,” Remonde said.

The Press Secretary pointed out that business has every right to air their grievances to the President as she has equal obligation to listen to business and every other sector.

“That is exactly what she did and the bottom line is in 10 days, the cheaper medicines bill will be implemented,” Remonde said. (PNA)

scs/OPS/rsm

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