The Department of Health (DOH) last January 15th, 2020, ordered the freezing of drug prices in the areas that are affected by the Taal eruption.
Yesterday, they released the official list of essential medications, medicines, and equipment that are under the freezing of drug prices order they had.
The phreatic eruption of the Taal volcano
A few days back, the Taal volcano experienced a wild and a continuous spew of molten lava which resulted to ash; scattered at different parts of the country.
Many reports have mentioned that in order for us to be safe, we need face masks (N95 face masks specifically). Because of this, a lot of people capitalized on these, pricing them more than five (5) times!
This prompted a lot of people to utilize face mask alternatives such as wet towels, diapers, and bras to cover their faces and for them not to inhale the ash coming from the continuous ashfall.
What does the price freeze cover?
Based on the order of the DOH, the freezing of drug prices cover a wide range of essential drugs, medicines, and maintenance medications including:
- Anti Allergics
- And Others
As per the agency, what they aim for is to help our fellow countrymen who were affected by the eruption to be protected against the unlawful acts of hoarding and overpricing of medicines and medications.
Based on the memorandum signed by the Health Secretary, it discusses that some medicines are going to be considered as basic necessities because of the natural calamity that has transpired.
Essential medicines have been identified as a basic necessity especially in times of natural calamities and man-made disasters that put the health and lives of Filipinos at risk because of unfavorable conditions that cause or aggravate disease which may lead to epidemics or massive deaths.”
Be protected against profiteers
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said that they’ve received several reports from people and certain establishments about hoarding essentials.
Moreover, it was also reported that these hoarders and profiteers take advantage of the situation. What they do is they jack up the prices of these essentials more than threefold.
The DOH received reports of individuals and establishments that hoard and sell essential commodities at jacked up prices. It is abhorrent that there are people who take advantage of public emergencies and profit at the expense of our suffering of countrymen.”
In addition to that, Health Secretary Duque III also made a mention that it is the duty and responsibility of the Health Department to aid Filipinos against life-threatening situations like the one we just experienced a few days back.
It is the mandate of the Department of Health to protect the Filipino people against life-threatening situations, including those that prevent them from seeking the right and adequate products and services when they need it the most.”
Other areas that are slightly-to-not affected
Even though the mandate of the DOH was targeted only to areas, provinces, and cities that are affected by the calamity, the list of medicines and essentials made by the DOH can be used by the public as reference to the commodities’ suggested retail price (SRP) in the Philippine market.
On the other end of the Spectrum, both the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the DOH recommended the Office of the President to have a mandate on the ceiling price of N95 face masks and other items including:
- Disposable Face Masks
- Oxygen Cannulas
- Safety Goggles
- Nebulization Kits
- And Many More
Secretary Duque concluded that he, together with the whole Health Department, won’t let the health of our countrymen be disregarded. He said that they’ll be exhausting all their efforts to ensure that everyone is safe and is well cared for during these dire times.
We will not compromise the Filipino people’s welfare especially in this trying time. DOH is exerting all efforts to control prices for essential medicines and commodities for the duration of the emergency.”
List of the medicines
Now, for the list of the medicines under the freezing of drug prices, you can access this document authored by the Health Department by clicking here.
What do you think about the move of some people by jacking up the prices? Did the DOH do a job well done in ordering a freezing of drug prices and other essentials?