Press Release
March 25, 2010

ROXAS: CHEAPER MEDICINES FOR ALL, INCLUDING DETRACTORS

Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Senator Mar Roxas today said he is unfazed by the expensive smear campaign launched by his detractors in a desperate move to bring him down from his consistent race frontrunner status.

The primary author of the Cheaper Medicines Act said the truth is that prices of medicines of around 200 crucial medicines for prevalent diseases-such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer-have been slashed significantly, that even his detractors have benefitted from it.

"Mahigit isang dekada na nating ipinaglaban ang abot-kayang gamot para sa mahihirap na Pilipino. At sa wakas-sa unang pagkakataon´┐Żbumaba ang presyo ng mahahalagang gamot (We have been fighting for affordable medicines for poor Filipinos for more than a decade. And finally, for the first time, the price of key medicines have been slashed)," he stressed

"I did not back down from the harassment and mounts of cases filed against me by giant pharmaceutical companies. There's no reason for me to cower this time around," he said.

Contrary to the claim of his critics, Roxas said Congress decided to put the power to impose maximum drug retail prices directly in the hands of the President, who is directly accountable to the people; instead of a Drug Price Regulatory Board that will not be transparent and that will have representatives of pharmaceutical companies as members.

"Kung 'board' ang ipinasa natin, hindi bababa ang presyo ng gamot Nakita naman natin na walang mapapala ang taumbayan sa mga board-board na iyan, kundi sangkaterbang katiwalian at mga desisyong laban sa interes ng publiko. (If we created a 'board,' prices of medicines will not go down. We have seen how such 'boards' in other industries have not benefitted the public, and have only encouraged massive corruption)," he said.

"What's important is we now see the fruits of our people's fight for affordable medicines. Our fight to immediately bring down the prices of more medicines continues," he stressed.

 

Before

After

Daily Savings

Yearly

NORVASC Amlodipine 5mg

Anti-Hypertensive

P46.26

P22.85

P23.40

P8,541

LIPITOR Atorvastatin 40mg

Anti-Cholesterol

P101

P50.63

P50.37

P18,385

DIAMICRON Gliclazide 80mg

Anti-Diabetic

P15

P7.50

P15

2 tabs/day

P5,475

CLEVUDINE Revovir 30mg

Anti-Hepatitis B/Antiviral

P335.35

P90

P245 to P490

1-2 tabs/day

P89,425 to

P178,850

Roxas began his advocacy for quality and affordable medicines decades back when he was still Representative of Capiz, when he pushed for a bill to lower prices of medicines. When he was appointed as Secretary of Trade and Industry, he pioneered the importation of affordable medicines from other countries, which were sold in "Botika ng Bayan" they established. As the country's chief negotiator in the WTO, he led third world nations negotiate and pass the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and public health.

As soon as he was elected senator, he pushed for the Cheaper Medicines Act, which was passed in the 14th Congress. The law got almost approved in the 13th Congress, but it was not passed in the House of Representatives because of lack of quorum in its latter session days. Furthermore, it was during that time that the intense lobbying of multinational pharma in the House of Representatives to block the law's passage.

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