Duterte promises to sign EO lowering prices of life-saving medicines

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MANILA, Philippines — The cost of more than 100 life-saving medicines is expected to go down when President Rodrigo Duterte signs the executive order (EO) proposed by the Department of Health (DOH).

In an interview with broadcaster Ted Failon, Duterte has committed to sign the EO proposed by the DOH in an aim to cut the prices of 122 drugs by half.

“I will sign it. That’s good for the Filipino, reduced prices or maintaining a price, I will even sign the document twice over,” Duterte said.

However, Duterte clarified that concerned government agencies are still studying the proposed order and he will go through it once submitted to Malacanang for his approval.

“Maybe they are reviewing it. If it’s on my table, I would read it at night. I have not come across any,” Duterte explained.

The DOH has been pushing for the approval of the EO, saying that Filipinos should get a reprieve from high prices of life-saving medicines for cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, neonatal and chronic lung diseases.

The health department stressed that Filipinos are spending more for medicines compared to their neighbors in the region.

The EO is facing strong opposition from the pharmaceutical industry, which claims that regulating the price of medicine will lead to the closure of small and medium-sized drug stores. (Gerald Alayon/JGo/Currentph.com)

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