DOH padlocks four drug stores

August 28, 2009 10:32 am 

MANILA, Aug. 28 — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has padlocked four drug stores after they were found violating the government’s Maximum Drug Retail Price (MDRP) program.

Duque served Cease and Desist Order (CDO) against Stardust Drug and Medical Supplies Corp., Cheer-Up Drug Store, Sunburst Drug Corp., all located along Rizal Avenue, in front of the Department of Health in Sta. Cruz; and the South Star Drug in Matalino Street in Quezon City.

The CDO prevented the drug stores from selling drug products at a price higher than the imposed MDRP.

Duque said the closed drug stores were given 72 hours to show valid cause in writing and present evidence why no further administrative or legal action should be taken against them.

Republic Act 9502, or the Cheaper Medicines Law, took effect on Aug. 15. Duque called on the hospitals and pharmacies to immediately enforce the new prices.

Small pharmacies were given until Sept. 15 to comply with the law.

The DOH said only pharmacies located far from the hospitals are covered by the Sept. 15 deadline. The rest were ordered to follow the Aug. 15 imposition.

The DOH has intensified its campaign to make the law fully operational. (PNA)

RMA/FMB

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