Lawmaker wants probe on effectiveness of Cheaper Medicines Act

July 29, 2009 9:32 am 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, July 29 — With the resumption of the third regular session of the 14th Congress, House Deputy Minority Leader and Paranaque Rep. Roilo Golez has asked the House Committee on Health to determine whether or not Republic Act 9502, also known as the Cheaper Medicines Act, has been effective in bringing down the prices of medicines one year after it was enacted into law.

Golez said in filing House Resolution No. 1186, the committee should assess the implementation and effectiveness of the law.

"My constituents are asking me if the Cheaper Medicines Act has substantially lowered the prices of medicines in the country," he said.

Golez said the law was enacted to enhance the Filipinos' access to generic drugs that will provide cheaper but quality medicines.

It also seeks to give the government a better policy tool to influence the supply and prices of medicines and the establishment of a Drug Price Regulation Board.

According to Golez, the law allows the parallel importation of patented cheaper medicines from other countries as a means to reduce their prices in the Philippines.

He said local drug outlets are required to carry a variety of medicine brands, which include those imported from other countries to give consumers more choices and access to cheaper drugs.

"Congress must oversee the implementation of this Act to ensure that its purpose is achieved," he added. (PNA)

DCT/LGI

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