DOH: prices of meds in RP “100 to 1,000% higher”

DOH Regional Director Dr. Paulyn Jean Ubial yesterday said the "drug situation of the country is very sad and dismal” because the prices are “manipulated by the drug industry players.”

Unlike in other countries where drug prices are determined by its manufacturing cost, in the Philippines the prices are "based on general public opinion, not on capitalization."

Ubial explained that drug companies usually use survey method to determine how much the public is willing to pay for a drug and the price that gets the highest vote, wins.

Ubial also said the "prices are arbitrary and controlled by the industry."

The drug industry is a P100 billion industry in the country with P136 billion being spent on health expenditures.

Of the P136 billion 70 percent goes to drugs, Ubial said.

The DOH spends P370 million of its P25 billion budget on drugs.  (MindaNews)