Imee calls for more cheap medicines

Imee Marcos

SENATOR Imee Marcos has called on the government to cut the prices of more medicines and speed up the purchase of critical equipment other than just testing kits, as the country scrambles to fight the spread of coronavirus disease or Covid-19.

More medicines for those who are “immunocompromised” or have weaker immune systems due to illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and lung disorders should be included in the list of 72 more drugs that the government is considering this week for price regulation, Marcos said.

“Habang wala pang vaccine o lunas sa Covid-19, ang pag-asa na lamang ng mga mahihina ang immune system dahil sa kanilang mga kapansanan ay mas murang gamot,” Marcos said.

Marcos issued the statement ahead of a mandatory technical working group (TWG) meeting of the health and trade and industry departments to discuss the 72 drugs that will be added to a previous list of medicines subjected to price caps.

The TWG is supposed to convene Wednesday, or 30 days after President Duterte issued Executive Order 104, which imposed maximum wholesale and retail prices on 133 medicines in February.

Besides cheaper medicine, Marcos also called on health officials to speed up the purchase of PPE’s or personal protective equipment for frontline medical staff, and oxygen, ventilators, and beds for critical patient care amid the alarming trajectory of confirmed cases of Covid-19, from four to more than 140 in just over a week.