Press Release
February 26, 2010


Liberal Party vice presidential race frontrunner Sen. Mar Roxas' advocacy for greater public access to affordable but quality medicines got closer to reality today as the Department of Health released the second list of essential drugs subject to government price limitations.

Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral presented to Roxas the list of 23 vital drugs and 5 medical devices, which the DOH had submitted to President Arroyo for approval to be added in the inventory of medicines subject to Government Mediated Access Price (GMAP).

"Nagpapasalamat tayo kay Secretary Cabral at ipinapagpatuloy niya at ng DOH ang ating laban para sa mura at de-kaledad na gamot. Dahil sa ating masigasig na pagbabantay, bumaba - at patuloy na bababa - ang presyo ng mahahalagang gamot sa ating bansa," said the primary author of the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act.

He vowed to continue pushing for the inclusion of all essential medicines in the GMAP list.

Among those included in the new list are medicines for bladder and prostate disorders, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, anti-cancer, anti-asthma, anti-coagulant, anti-glaucoma, anti-hepatitis B, antibiotics and kidney failure maintenance.

President Arroyo last year signed Executive Order No. 821, which imposed price cuts on five essential medicines: Amlodipine (anti-hypertensive), Atorvastatin (anti-cholesterol), Azithromycin (anti-biotic, anti-bacterial), Cytarabine (anti-cancer) and Doxorubicin (anti-cancer). The prices of 16 other essential drugs were also slashed under EO 821 under the voluntary price reduction system.

Roxas promised more medicines would be covered by the GMAP under his and Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Noynoy Aquino's administration.

"Kung tapat at tuwid ang pinuno, tiyak ang asenso. Bababa pa nang husto ang presyo ng gamot kung tapat at tuwid ang pamamahala. Ipapatupad ng gobyernong Aquino-Roxas ang lahat ng probisyon ng Cheaper Medicines Law," he said.

He added an Aquino-Roxas leadership would also provide more funds for the importation of cheaper medicines from drug-manufacturing countries and put up more Botika ng Bayan outlets nationwide, as mandated by the law.

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