21 February 2007

HB 6035 - Cheaper Medicines For Filipinos

Finally, some good news...or is it? The cynics among us might remark that it's the wonders of the campaign period this election year..... House Bill 6035 has been passed!
The House of Representatives has passed on second reading a measure to bring down the cost of quality medicines amid strong lobbying by multinational pharmaceutical firms.

Convened in a special session, lawmakers approved by voice voting at 10:49 p.m. Tuesday House Bill 6035 or the Parallel Importation of Medicine, certified urgent by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

[Inquirer.net, 21 Feb 2007]

According to the report, Pfizer lobbyists were on the floor, and tried their best to stop or delay the bill's passage.

It is a sad fact that many Filipinos die of chronic illnesses because they cannot afford to buy expensive medicines. Most of the time, even the prescribed 5-7-day antibiotic course for usual respiratory and soft tissue infections is not completed because of financial reasons.

The passed bill will try to amend the country's Intellectual Property Code and will promote the parallel importation of cheaper patented drugs. Pharmaceutical companies, like Pfizer, for example, are protesting. I can't blame them. They are motivated by the sole objective of having a business --- which is to earn profits and more profits, no matter what.

Me? I will be happy only when I see this bill really being enforced and implemented, with more Filipinos being able to buy their needed medicines, and living longer instead of dying before their time.

Even after elections, of course.

Let's wait and see.

8 reactions:

bayi said...

This is excellent news. They have done it in Thailand despite the displeasure shown by the major pharmaceuticals. Apparently the major group to benefit were those who had to pay exorbitant prices for AIDS medicines.

Dr. Emer said...

Yes, Bayi. I hope this bill gets to be signed as law soon.

ipanema said...

Thank you for sharing this Dr. Emer. This is good news indeed. Like you, I'm crossing my fingers on this.

ann said...

Doc, I will just ask something. Dati available sa lahat ng pharmacy dito ang Inderal, pero ngayon wala na. Ano ba side effect nun pag continous ang gamit?

Nostalgia Manila said...

HA! We'll have to see if this is actually implemented and upheld. The sort of bill that should actually be passed is one that bans LOBBYISTS!!!!

Dr. Emer said...

Hello, Ann. Sorry for the late reply. Inderal is propranolol, a beta-blocker given to lower blood pressure. Taking it for a long time without medical supervision might be harmful as it might cause dizziness from a low blood pressure effect. Read more of the other side effects here.

Char said...

Hi Emer, and which lawmaker is responsible for this good news? Rarity ata ito ha.

Dr. Emer said...

Hello, Char. It's Congresswoman Junie Cua.