Date Published:
Nov 29, 2017
Policy Notes
Focus Area(s):
PN 2017-23

Despite the enactment of the Cheaper Medicines Act in 2008, access to quality health care without incurring financial hardship continues to be an aspiration for many Filipinos. This Policy Note explores the barriers in access to medicines of Filipinos. It also presents key recommendations and strategies policymakers should consider in advancing universal health care in the country. Among others, the study finds an uneven access to medicines in the country due to the limited income of the poor and the lack of doctors in certain communities, even in Metro Manila. It recommends the deepening of the local medicine market to make the competition more effective in lowering prices. It also urges the provision of incentives to local government units to invest more in primary health care with medicines an integral part of their program.


This publication has been cited 14 times

In the Media
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  2. Cahiles-Magkilat, Bernie. 2018. Despite cheaper medicines, access remains a hurdle — PIDS. Manila Bulletin.
  3. Cordero, Ted. 2018. Increase in market competition will lower costs of medicine –think tank. GMA News.
  4. DOH. 2021. DOH and FDA Clarify Claims on the Approval of Potential Covid-19 Treatments and Calls for Resignation of the SOH. Department of Health.
  5. DOH and FDA . 2021. DOH, FDA clarify claims on the approval of potential Covid-19 treatments and calls for resignation of the SOH. Philippine Information Agency.
  6. Gumising, Saira. 2018. Increase local market competition to lower medicine costs in PH–PIDS. Mindanao Daily.
  7. Icamina, Paul. 2020. Price caps on pharma may lead to shortage. Malaya.
  8. Jhon Aldrin Casinas . 2021. DOH, FDA deny profiting from remdesivir, tocilizumab use. Manila Bulletin.
  9. Lopez, Tony. 2018. High cost of medicines in Philippines. Manila Standard Today.
  10. Padilla, Teodoro. 2019. Fulfilling the promise of UHC. BusinessWorld.
  11. RadyoMaN Manila . 2021. DOH at FDA, itinangging pinagkakakitaan nila ang Remdesivir at Tocilizumab. RMN Network.
  12. Teodoro B. Padilla . 2021. Multi-stakeholder call to implement UHC Law. Business World.
  13. Valencia, Czerisa. 2017. Increased gov’t procurement of medicines pushed. Philippine Star.
  14. Valencia, Czerisa. 2017. PIDS pushes deeper local drug market. Philippine Star.

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