Sky-high prices of imported medicines


In the Philippines, foreign companies dominate the supply of drugs in almost all categories (an­ti­bio­tic, anti-hypertension, anti-cancer and others) compared to local companies. These are generally 30-80% more expensive than generic brands.

Added to the high costs is the 25-45% mark-up by local and foreign distributors for branded drugs and almost 60% for branded generics. This results to almost a thousandfold increase in prices in the country, compared to other countries in Asia.

An example of this is GSK’s 150mg/100 tablet of Zantac (anti-ulcer) which cost $95 in the Philippines, but only sells at $3 in India.

Foreign companies also dominate sales of diag­nos­tic agents.

Sky-high prices of imported medicines