Press Release
March 1, 2010


Vice-presidential race frontrunner and Liberal Party candidate Senator Mar Roxas today assured Filipinos that cheap but quality medicines will be made available in all drug stores nationwide if he and his standard bearer Senator Benigno S. Aquino III would win in May 10.

"Balewala ang murang gamot kung hindi ito makakarating sa bawat sulok ng ating bansa (Making prices of medicines cheaper would be useless unless our poor people can buy them from their nearest drugstore)," Roxas said following the release of the second list of essential drugs by the Department of Health as an addition in the inventory of medicines subject to Government Mediated Access Price (GMAP).

At the least, the government must ensure cheaper medicines are made available through drugstores subsidized by the government, Roxas said.

Aside from pursuing the lowering of prices of more essential medicines, an Aquino-Roxas administration will also put up more Botika ng Bayan and Botika ng Barangay outlets all over the country and allot more funds for the importation of cheaper medicines from drug-manufacturing countries.

"Sa ilalim ng administrasyong Aquino-Roxas, makaaasa ang lahat na ang uunahin ko't aatupagin na ipatupad agad ang pagpapababa pa lalo ng mga presyo ng mahahalagang gamot (Under an Aquino-Roxas administration, my first and most important task is to do something to further lower prices of essential medicines)," Roxas said.

A second list of essential drugs presented by Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral to Roxas last Friday included 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.

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