June 23, 2017, 9:45 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07443 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4017 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03628 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.32436 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02723 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03626 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04054 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63579 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03534 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.60377 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13904 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06579 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30624 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20692 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 405.75598 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04049 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02733 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.57175 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13799 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 58.59343 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.43535 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98075 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47231 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.59951 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13357 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95278 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19181 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.28109 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36583 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46433 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01797 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04244 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01572 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08685 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91021 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 182.75233 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1491 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.14512 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15784 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47422 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13229 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24625 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.54195 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.57844 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07211 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30521 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.93595 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 657.62059 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9771 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.6139 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01433 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23666 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0906 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38113 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 81.57681 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.12404 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.24078 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.6366 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00614 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01662 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.364 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 166.08836 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.51277 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.08877 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.84435 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25922 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06179 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01258 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02821 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19642 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36735 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.09972 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.52331 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.27726 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16258 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.25578 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.70024 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31394 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.54094 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37863 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08672 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2604 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52615 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59972 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17055 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08654 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02835 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00779 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06622 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06654 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11897 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0753 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 112.82935 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0738 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08196 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14766 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.61897 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.076 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16004 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26836 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13498 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17451 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45006 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 152.00649 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08634 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 435.85326 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17678 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.43737 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26014 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6897 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04917 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04647 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0711 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13537 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61011 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 45.17633 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53223 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.78071 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57377 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 77.82732 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20216 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 459.54601 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18241 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05201 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.77483 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05472 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.82205 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.13174 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.06546 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25921 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 105.17835 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.33482 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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