Among the members of the DOH Advisory Council (AC) on the Implementation of RA 9502 (Cheaper Medicines Law of 2008), and in our civil society health network Coalition for Health Advocacy and Transparency (CHAT), there is only one NGO leader who persists on lobbying for continued drug price control, the leader and founder of the Cancer Warriors Foundation (CWF), James Auste.
I can understand James' main concern, to save the lives of more and more children with cancer, and it is a noble goal. I myself have two young kids, aged only 6+ and 2+ years old. If anyone of them will get sick, I immediately become troubled but I try to stay calm as their illness are often not serious -- not dengue or similar fatal diseases. So I share with his concern.
But the means that he often advocates -- using politics and more government coercion -- is something that I definitely do not share with. Just three days ago, he posted in the Advisory Council members' email loop and said,
It's good that Leonie shared her observation about the case of Canada. Goivernment price dictatorship via price control simply did not work and will not work, if their goal is to allow more poor people to have access to more life saving medicines.
Drug Price Control 27: Letter to Sen. Pia Cayetano, May 15, 2012
Drug Price Control 28: On Cong. Biron and Sen. Villar Bills, July 14, 2012
Drug Price Control 29: MRP Attempt Over Anti-Leptospirosis Drug, August 16, 2012
Fat-Free Econ 22: Three Years of Drug Price Control Policy, August 30, 2012
Drug Price Control 30: Reversing the Policy on AC Resolution in 2009, September 14, 2012