November 18, 2017, 12:22 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07227 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.22452 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03503 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34355 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02607 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03503 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03935 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.64187 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0327 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00742 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.29713 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02667 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13499 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0645 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28247 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20681 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 393.93939 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03931 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01951 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.40988 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13051 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.13813 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08422 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.83943 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42677 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.47954 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12411 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94451 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.25075 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2609 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34652 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53227 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01667 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04117 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0149 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01491 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0895 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92483 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.2137 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14447 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.05313 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15372 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46232 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12613 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.21291 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.19481 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 266.09603 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06915 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27847 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.9634 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 693.36875 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02755 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47068 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01392 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21558 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03994 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37194 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.10272 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.33333 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.70956 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.5429 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00594 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01614 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52952 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.2625 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.73239 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.02145 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44392 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27873 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05999 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01221 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02676 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18535 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34406 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.02145 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.82015 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.01181 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15831 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.91558 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.66706 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30638 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.09681 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37473 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08186 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27564 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.02479 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60232 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16201 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03758 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02897 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00757 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06374 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06312 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07261 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07062 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.06651 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07477 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07746 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16854 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.37721 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07379 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15368 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26269 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13104 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16586 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02669 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01491 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43695 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.94097 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.99961 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 408.72688 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17218 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.13341 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2756 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64542 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04872 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04538 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07647 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13045 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59144 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.97875 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52076 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.36954 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57989 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 158.20543 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19628 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 446.89099 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.12515 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05043 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.9329 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05313 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.93861 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9754 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.91834 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27568 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.11531 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.12121 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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