During the regional summit in Manila last November 2017, ahead of his visit to New Delhi to meet with other ASEAN leaders, President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed intention to procure cheap Indian medicines to the Philippines.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said officials from both countries are looking into the possibility of putting Indian pharmaceutical firms and shops in the Philippines to bring in more affordable medicines.
“There was an indication that we want Indian companies to invest in [the] pharmaceutical industry in the Philippines. And we want to, of course, learn from the experience of India on how they are able to produce cheaper medicine,” Roque shared.
A working group has also been formed to study the possible partnership on pharmaceuticals between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that the potential entrance of more Indian pharmaceuticals shop in the country does not necessarily equate to the failure of the Cheap Medicines Act.
“What we are saying is that we would like to encourage more sourcing of cheaper medicine or what we say affordable medicines from more sources here in India. We have about four Indian pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines already. So we want to add on to that… we want basically just to have better access and more of these alternatives,” Lopez said.