Press Release
July 4, 2009


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today demanded that Tamiflu be included in the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) list submitted by the Department of Health for President Arroyo's approval, as he said the DOH is short of committing gross negligence by not acting decisively to bring down the price of Tamiflu to the reach of the public.

The DOH, he said, should move more aggressively to bring down the oppressive price of Tamiflu (generic name Oseltamivir) and other drugs against A(H1N1) Influenza in the market since this is the only protection of the people if a more virulent strain rears its head in the future.

"Inutil ang administration. Kaya nilang sabihing puwede pang mag-mutate at maging mas grabe ang A(H1N1) flu per hindi pa nila nagagawa ang lahat ng paraan para mapababa ang presyo ng Tamiflu at iba pang gamot, pero kaya nilang sabihing puwede pang mag-mutate at maging mas grabe ang AH1N1 threat," he said.

The Primary Author of the Universally Accessible, Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act also stressed that the government knows very well that Tamiflu is not patent-protected in the country, and thus, there is no legal impediment to government or local pharmaceutical companies from producing it.

"Kung hindi naman na pala patented ang Tamiflu, ano'ng pumipigil sa gobyerno na humanap ng paraan para tulungan ang mga lokal na kumpanya na gumawa ng mas murang generic na Tamiflu?" he stressed.

Roxas noted that the price of Tamiflu has tripled since the AH1N1 virus hit its first victim in the country during the summer.

The Visayan senator recalled that local firm United Laboratories Inc. (Unilab) is able to manufacture a generic version of Tamiflu. In 2005, Unilab was tapped by the DOH to locally manufacture Tamiflu as an integral part of the country's bird flu preparedness program.

"Dapat alamin na ng pamahalaan kung gaano karaming Tamiflu pa ang kinakailangan para bumaba ang presyo nito, at kung aling mga lokal na kumpanya ang maaaring gumawa ng generic na Tamiflu," Roxas said.

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