DOH affirms Peso devaluation, inflation have effects on maintenance medicines’ costs

A Department of Health (DOH) official has affirmed that the prices of maintenance medicines for non-communicable diseases are affected by inflation and peso devaluation as these are also market commodities.

“Based on our monitoring in December 2022, we have noted a slight price increase in a set of hypertensive medicines, which was because of the inflation and the peso devaluation,” DOH-OIC Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing in Pasay City. She did not identify the brand names of the medicines.

The DOH, through the Cheaper Medicines Act or Republic Act 9502, monitors the prices of medicines to ensure quality medicines are available to the public.

“Overall, we have stable prices of our medicines and this is because of our Executive Order 155, wherein we placed price caps (starting March 23, 2022) for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, and for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), colorectal, lung and breast cancers, must be in our capping, regulating their prices  to make them more accessible to our fellowmen,” she said.

The price caps for these medicines are still in effect and can still be regulated, she added.

“We also have the MDRP, the medium drug retail price, where the prices of medicines are reduced to make them more accessible to the public,” she said.