There were at least two newspaper opinions on the drug price control subject recently in Philippine papers, below. The first is from Ding Generoso of Business Mirror last September 2. The second is from Cito Beltran of Philippine Star last September 14. Both have unkind descriptions of the current drug price control policy.
Earlier, Peter Wallace of Manila Standard also wrote an opinion about the subject.
If we list down the various forms of economic controls by the government -- rent control (max rental), wage control (min wage), fare control (max fare), drug price control (aka MDRP), possibly soon oil price control -- coupled with uncontrolled taxes and fees, uncontrolled bureaucracies and regulations, and of course, uncontrolled corruption, one may wonder if the Philippines is racing not with Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, HK -- but with Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
If we look at the most recent 2010 Report of "Doing Business" by the WB-IFC, out of 183 countries, the Philippines ranked #144, among the countries with the most bureaucratic policies for entrepreneurs and job creators. Not far from the Phils' ranking are Ukraine and Syria (rank 142 and 143), Cambodia, Cape Verde and Burkina Faso (rank 145, 146 and 147, respectively),
I wrote an article last week on a similar topic, "Marx, Hayek and Property rights".
It shows some result of the recently released "Economic Freedom of the World 2009 Report". Similar ugly result, RP among the laggards, among the most bureaucratic and socialist-leaning policies, weak in the promulgation of the rule of law, and protection of private property.
Gloria and the socialists, they have a number of things in common. Meanwhile, I heard that the DOH is considering expanding the list of drug price control. If DOH Sec. Duque will run for the Senate, I think this not a far out possibility. Let's see and observe.
Not the solution
Written by Ding I. Generoso / Second Opinion
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 01:11
Sooner than later, the government would have to review the cheaper-medicines law.
But before I get misunderstood, let me state clearly that I am not against bringing down the prices of medicines. I am all for it. I just don’t agree with the solution the government offers, because it does not address the root of the problem.
In a free-market economy that we proudly call ours, price control is not only an inefficient way to lower the prices of goods and services. It is anathema to the principles of free economics and contrary to the declared government policy of liberalization....
A brooding volcano
CTALK By Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star)
Updated September 14, 2009 12:00 AM
Mayon Volcano is the perfect analogy for the brooding discontent among many sectors involved in the manufacture, distribution and sale of medicines in the Philippines.
I make the analogy between Mayon Volcano and all the people directly or indirectly involved in the production and sale of medicines because I recently returned from Naga City where I had a chance conversation with leaders of the Drug Stores Association of the Philippines (DSAP). Just like Mayon Volcano, these ladies were a very unhappy and grumbling lot.
For sometime now, I have quietly recorded information gathered from many sectors involved in the “medicine” business and I guess it’s about time people got an update as to how and what the “Cheaper Medicines Act” and the Maximum Retail Price or MRP on medicines has achieved....