Pampanga eyes price cap on Covid-19 meds

Pampanga eyes price cap on Covid-19 meds

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – Governor Dennis Pineda and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan met with officials of some concerned agencies on Wednesday to prepare for the convening of the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC).

This, as the provincial government plans to set price ceilings on medicines used in treating coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

Pineda said he wanted a pro-active LPCC as he has received complaints about exorbitant prices of such medicines.

Remdesivir, which is among the medicines widely used on Covid-19 patients, is priced at PHP3,500 per 100 mg vial.

However, some private hospitals reportedly charge as much as PHP8,000 to PHP22,000 for each vial, an official of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) claimed, which was confirmed by a Department of Health (DOH) executive. These exceed the PHP1,500 to PHP8,200 suggested retail price set in DOH Department Circular No. 2021-0291.

“We are in an emergency situation and the Delta variant is on us. This is no time to milk dry people who are infected of the virus. Your provincial government is intervening by regulating the prices and penalizing violators,” Pineda said in an official social media post.

At the request of Pineda and Vice Governor Lilia Pineda, Board Member Jun Canlas pushed for the full activation of the LPCC because the body, chaired by the governor, has the mandate to set price ceilings and file criminal charges against violators of Republic Act No. 7581, the Price Act of 1992. (PNA)

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