The Philippines Cracks Down on Drug Price Reduction Violations

The Philippine Department of Health has found that more than 100 drugstores and hospital pharmacies have not been complying with the price reduction programs that were established in August 2009.

The Government Mediated Access Price (GMAP) and Maximum Drug Retail Price (MDRP) programs were set up to increase accessibility of affordable medicines to the poor. The first round of price cuts took place in August 2009, and a second round in March 2010.

Secretary of Health, Ms. Esperanza Cabral, has since warned drugstores and hospital pharmacies that continued defiance of the price cut programs would result in penalties. Cease and Desist Orders, and fines ranging from 1,000 to 50,000 Philippine Pesos (20 to 1,000 USD), were issued to drug retail outlets that were in violation of the MDRP and GMAP this April. Repeated violators could face up to 5 million Philippine Pesos (100,000 USD) in fines.