Duterte wants more Indian Pharmaceutical firms to produce cheaper medicine in PH

Duterte wants more Indian Pharmaceutical firms to produce cheaper medicine in PH

Indian pharmaceuticals are the biggest exporters of medicines in the United States of America and the European Union. And President Rodrigo Roa Duterte made it as one of his goals in this foreign trip that the country will benefit from this situation.

President Duterte is one of the ten chief guests  during India’s Republic Day celebration in New Delhi. The President along with the other nine Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders were invited for the special commemorative summit.

During the sidelines of the summit, the President and his lean delegation made sure that they will make the most out of the first foreign trip for this year.   *
President Duterte and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (photo credit to PCOO)

In the press briefings at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopezsaid among the major discussion the President had with his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the cooperation with India’s pharmaceutical companies.

The Philippines would like to position itself in a situation that it can produce cheaper medicines for the benefit of the Filipino public.

Roque said that during the one-hour meeting between Duterte and Modi, the two esteemed  leaders agreed on expanding bilateral ties on all fronts with the Philippine President calling, in general terms, for further cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry.

“In the bilateral (meeting) itself, it was mentioned that an area of cooperation that the Philippines wants to prioritize together is the business outsourcing,” he said.

“Of course, 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 produce cheaper medicines,” Roque said.

 As for the DTI Secretary, he told the media that in line with what President Duterte’s  goals in his visit to India, The DTI has met and talked with the Pharmaceutical Export Council of India to strengthen the trade on pharmaceuticals with focus on key medicines that will be needed especially by the poor.  *

“In particular, special emphasis were given to ensure that Filipinos will have better, easier access to affordable quality drugs. And that is what we want to have, that these kinds of medicines at affordable prices to be accessible to many Filipinos,” Lopez said.

Medicines for anti-hypertensive, anti-cholesterol, anti-bacterial, antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs, among others were identified and prioritized in the talks.

Lopez wants more Indian firms to invest in the Philippines pharmaceutical industry, currently there are four pharmaceutical firms operating in the country.

“They can make the Philippines as their manufacturing hub for medicines that they will supply to the Philippines or making it as a manufacturing hub to export also to their other export markets,” the DTI Sec said.  Pharmaceuticals are the second biggest Philippine import from India, “So what we are just saying is that we would like to encourage more sourcing of affordable medicines from more sources here in India. But at the same time, we are now encouraging them to look into manufacturing so that we don't just rely on importation,” Lopez said.

Report from PNA

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