Senator Mar Roxas today vowed to closely monitor compliance by multinational drug companies and pharmacies with the executive order imposing a 50 percent slash in the prices of 21 essential but expensive medicines taking effect today.
Roxas said the Congressional Oversight Committee on Cheaper Medicines would periodically check if drugstores indeed reduce by half the prices of the 5 medicines covered by Executive Order No. 821 including the voluntary bringing down on the prices of 16 other essential medicines.
Yet, the Liberal Party president who is the primary author of the Universally Accessible, Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act said the fight is not yet over since many essential medicines remain expensive.
Even as Roxas is not satisfied with the way President Arroyo used her powers to lower prices of all essential medicines, he sees this as the first victory especially when consumers can now start buying the half-priced medicines in local drugstores.
Executive Order No. 821 imposing price cuts on anti-hypertensive, anti-cholesterol, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer medicines was signed by President Arroyo last month after drug firms refused voluntary price cuts on such products. It takes effect today (August 15).