Debating the Cheaper Medicines Law
By now you’ve heard of or have seen the VP debate we had recently. Before anything else, I’d like to thank everyone again for the overwhelming show of support via Twitter, SMS, Facebook, and even ABS-CBN’s very own voting system. Nakakatabang puso. One of the tweets that I was able to read when I got home was something like this: “Mas matindi pa ang #harapan sa laban ni Clottey at Pacquiao.” Hahaha. I’m glad that many of you watched and commented on the issues and the things that matter.
Which brings me to this article. One of the issues raised during our “very heated” debate was the Cheaper Medicines Law – a law which, even Senator Legarda will agree, benefits both the rich and the poor. An example of this is an anti-cholesterol drug called Lipitor which many take 3x a week to keep healthy. The cost of this drug is now down to P50.00 from its previous price of P100. That’s savings of P7,800 a year! Even rich people can appreciate this. But for the poor… it’s an incredible amount of savings equivalent to 17 kilos of rice, or 85 cans of sardines, or 120 packs of noodles!
And that’s just for one drug. In a few days time, the prices of 97 medicines will also be slashed down, with some by as much as 80%. And this is just one part of the Cheaper Medicines Law in action!
It took a very long time for us to get this bill signed into law. But despite the trapos and the big pharmaceuticals (we were even brought to court by drug companies who wanted to maintain their monopoly), I’m very happy that our version of the law is here to stay: a version that establishes clear accountability to the President instead of the vagueness of a board. But we can and should do more. There are other provisions of the law that, when implemented properly, will lead to better quality and more affordable access to medicines for all. You can be certain that with an Aquino presidency, we’ll quickly see even more drugs with lowered prices! For now though, here’s a graphic of how much we can expect the prices of certain types of meds to go down starting at the end of March:
Thank you for reading, thank you for your support.