Philippines Considers New Price Caps on Innovative, but Pricey, Drugs

Philippines authorities are considering setting price caps on a broad array of innovative drug products marketed in the country for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Prices of the pharmaceuticals, sold mainly by foreign manufacturers, have been rising rapidly over the past year.


Under a law passed in 2008, the Philippines government has the authority to impose price ceilings on either the wholesale or retail prices of pharmaceuticals that are the most expensive yet most prescribed and/or dispensed in the market.


Price controls have been imposed on other classes of pharmaceuticals in the past after recommendations by the Secretary of the Department of Health. But the issue of broadening the price caps is still under discussion. Global pharmaceutical companies contend that price caps will make it harder for them to recover costs of developing, producing, and distributing essential medicines.