September 24, 2017, 1:02 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07205 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19737 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03473 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33883 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02472 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03508 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03924 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.60624 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03223 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0074 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.03414 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02647 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13537 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06149 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26104 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20051 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 392.78006 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03919 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02419 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01905 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.25231 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12921 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.14342 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.22072 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81263 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42857 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.49225 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12231 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92211 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19774 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25715 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34589 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45831 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01644 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03953 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01454 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01447 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08679 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87895 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 174.63213 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14311 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.97705 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15314 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45756 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12286 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19973 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.08986 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 260.48656 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0688 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27132 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.89582 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 658.62271 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10712 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.56229 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01388 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20489 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02178 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3433 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.4585 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.05435 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.65745 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.18972 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00592 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01609 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.67785 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 162.84088 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.53698 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99588 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.29351 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26015 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05981 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01217 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02654 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18329 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34501 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.00647 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.68236 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.14597 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15773 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.0826 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65097 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30135 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.05376 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34969 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08232 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2598 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.92564 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58623 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15332 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01197 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02683 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00755 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06369 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06268 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06494 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07028 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.25171 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07269 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0755 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.13354 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.2576 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07357 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15204 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2669 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13067 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15655 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02649 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01455 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43567 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 147.14538 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.928 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 402.77613 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17167 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.10359 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2598 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64921 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04791 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0432 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06876 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13239 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59217 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.90818 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51422 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.57092 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56582 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 158.34804 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19569 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 445.73278 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0155 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04907 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.773 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05297 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.75142 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.95017 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.90386 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25991 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 101.81479 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.10025 Zimbabwe dollar

Unfilled prescriptions

SENATOR Juan Miguel Zubiri is considering amending RA 9502 Quality and Affordable Medicines Act to include a Drug Price Regulatory Board that will reduce prices of drugs here--among the highest in the world. He is one of the original authors of RA 9502. “Our original bills recommended the creation of the Drug Price Regulatory Board. It disappeared in the final version. Now, it will be back in the amendments we will consider.”

“We should regulate prices... in addition to aggressive government importation, pooling of purchases of small drugstores to avail of discounts, and stocking rural health centers with low-cost drugs....The Committee will seriously look into the opportunity to buy low-cost drugs from China, India and Singapore. We will also ensure that we get the expanded list of drugs to be covered by the Maximum Drug Retail Price (MRDP) program.”

Zubiri recommended, DOH Secretary Ubial agreed to adopt the list of medicines proposed by patient groups, for the following: for cancer, end-stage renal disease, biologics for psoriasis and lupus, vaccines for pneumococcal and flu, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and COPD. Zubiri recommended the addition of drugs for breast cancer and Hepatitis C. “We shall get the expanded list by July 27 this year and the Oversight Committee will strictly monitor the implementation of MDRP Phase 2.”

“For medicines, the free market competition doesn’t work for the welfare of the people. Free competition can work for luxuries, but, it has no place for drugs which is a life and death issue. Especially for the poor who can’t buy medicines despite PhilHealth, guarantee letters in government hospitals and limited free drugs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.”

It’s been three years since the local Consumers’ Action for Empowerment or CAE has accused multinational pharmaceuticals of controlling the entire essential drug production chain in the Philippines from manufacturing, distribution and retail. This underhanded manipulation has resulted in expensive medicines. It is a case of monopoly control which the previous administrations looked away from.

The Philippines ranks among countries where medicines are most expensive. Pharmaceutical corporations dictate the high prices of medicines. The poor (making up the majority of the population) die with prescriptions, unfilled, shoved under his pillow.

Dr. Julie Caguiat, convener of CAE at that period, said then that given the monopoly control, the Philippines’ Cheaper Medicines Law cannot make any significant change in reversing the inaccessibility of essential medicines for the people. She cited (Nifedipine) Adalat Retard (20 mg) manufactured by Bayer pegged at P43.45 per tablet in most drugstores in the Philippines based on 2010 prices while the same brand and preparation can be bought in India at P1.44 per tablet. The same is true with (Mefenamic Acid) Ponstan (500 mg) manufactured by Pfizer which is bought in the country for P25.77 and the same drug can be bought in India at P2.96.

Caguiat, in 2012: “Why are the same brands of medicines cheaper in India? It is because, unlike our government which succumbs to the dictates of these Transnational Corporations, India imposed strict regulations, decisively curbing the control of TNCs in its drug industry.” Poor families bear the burden of expensive medicines. 

A research years ago done by Ibon Foundation reported that the average family spent P7,018 for health whereas the government allotted a measly P912.50 per person that year; the bottom half of the households spend an average of 49 percent of their total health expenses for medicines; there is no capitation for primary care and 80 percent of pharmacy sales are on outpatient.

CAE, back in 2012: “The government cannot argue anymore that there is no sufficient fund for health or medicines for that matter. The Aquino government reeks of systemic corruption.... We call on the government to undertake immediate measures to make essential medicines accessible to the people: remove the monopoly control of TNCs in medicine prices; remove 12 percent of VAT in essential medicines; ensure free essential medicines in public hospitals; abolish the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and allocate bigger budget for health including providing for free essential medicines for the poor.”

For more info, SENATOR JUAN MIGUEL F. ZUBIRI, Ms. Leoncio 0929-2048706.

***

Dahliaspillera@yahoo.com
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