January 19, 2018, 2:04 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07263 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.14992 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03521 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37318 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02474 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03521 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03956 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63687 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03163 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00745 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.63172 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02627 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13568 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06382 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25445 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19324 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 395.96518 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03951 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02456 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01896 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.96895 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12736 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 56.62579 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.15506 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.77275 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.40883 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.49743 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1197 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95886 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24462 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25141 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34978 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53817 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01607 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03956 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01433 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01431 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08957 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9371 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.94699 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14509 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.07219 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15475 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46509 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11922 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.25771 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 4.9644 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 263.35047 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06775 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.266 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.41772 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 723.08147 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02255 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.43928 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01399 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18216 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03224 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37189 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.26622 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.12896 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.80063 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.02452 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00594 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01622 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.47765 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.7856 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.88528 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.04292 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.5093 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24248 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0603 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01227 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02646 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18183 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33356 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.98418 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.46361 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.8837 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1593 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.96203 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64676 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30795 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.11195 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37086 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07803 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24161 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.0807 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6072 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15518 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0265 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02715 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0076 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06341 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0624 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18473 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06706 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 110.52215 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07202 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07488 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.11739 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.52987 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07417 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15387 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26503 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13841 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15847 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02609 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01433 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4392 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 150.90981 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.85839 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 393.89636 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17306 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.18552 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24175 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.63054 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04769 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04409 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07507 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13281 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5839 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.34335 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56547 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.79588 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01978 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56468 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.81883 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19729 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 449.14952 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0449 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04966 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.5352 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0534 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.5352 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.90645 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.94363 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24183 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.64043 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.15783 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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