Thursday, May 1, 2008

Will Cheap Medicine Bill Trickle To The Masses?

The hypertension medicine Norvasc is priced at P8 in India and a startling P80 in the Philippines. The price difference is expected to disappear with the approval by Congress the other day of the Cheap Medicine Bill sans the provision on generic prescription.

But will the supposedly drug lowering effects of the new law trickle down to the poorest of the poor in Philippine Society? Healthcare in the Philippines sucks and in the local parlance, if you are poor "higa ka na lang sa semento at hintayin mo mamatay ka."

Take the case of former president Corazon Aquino who has colon cancer. She's one of the lucky few because aside from hundreds (if not thousands) of people praying for her recovery, she does not have to concern herself with the costs of her chemo or her medication. What about Mang Juan who is even scared to have himself tested for fear of getting a portion of the family budget that is not even enough to buy the family 3 kilos of rice for a day?

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