DOH reminds drugstores: Reduce your prices

April 9, 2010 10:35 pm 

MANILA, April 9 — Department of Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral reiterated today that all drugstores and hospital pharmacies should comply with the Government-Mediated Access Price (GMAP) program to help ease the burden of the poor in accessing medicines.

In August 2009, the DOH, through its Regional Centers for Health Development and in coordination with various agencies and institutions, implemented the first round of GMAP and the Maximum Drug Retail Price (MDRP).

Last March 31, another set of 98 products were offered for price cuts under the GMAP initiative by 11 drug manufacturing firms.

Penalties imposed on violators are based on Republic Act No. 9502 (Cheaper Medicines Law) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

As of April 6, a total of 123 drug retail outlets and hospital pharmacies in Metro Manila (78 drugstores and pharmacies) and other regions (45) were found to have violated the MDRP and GMAP since their implementation in August last year.

As a consequence, these outlets have already been issued Cease-and-Desist Orders. Administrative fines ranging from P1,000 to P50,000 per drug violation for the GMAP and MDRP have been imposed.

Repeated violations of the GMAP and the MDRP can incur penalties of as much as P50,000 to P5,000,000 with accompanying suspension or revocation of their licenses to operate, depending on the gravity and extent of the violation.

“The DOH will not hesitate to penalize any drugstore or pharmacy should they continue to defy the implementation of the GMAP and MDRP program of government,” warned Secretary Cabral.

The Health chief reiterated that drug retail outlets and hospital pharmacies have no excuse not to reduce their prices since manufacturers that have joined the DOH by offering their medicines for GMAP are already selling the listed medicines to the drugstores and hospitals at reduced prices.

For the first round, manufacturers have been selling to retail outlets at the new prices since August 2009. For the March 31 implementation, manufacturers have been selling at reduced prices since February this year. (PNA)

scs/PR/utb

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