CHEAPER MEDICINES

DOF said over 100 medicine brands for treat­ment of di­a­betes, hy­per­ten­sion, and high choles­terol are now cheaper un­der TRAIN Law

Sun.Star Davao - - BUSINESS - DOF

Since the start of 2019, over a hun­dred medicine brands are now ex­empted from the pay­ment of the value-added tax (VAT) as pro­vided un­der the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion Act (Train).

These medicines are for the treat­ment and pre­ven­tion of di­a­betes, hy­per­ten­sion, and high choles­terol.

The Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA) came up with the list of the medicines, which also spec­i­fies the dif­fer­ent dosages cov­ered by this VAT-ex­empt priv­i­lege, is ex­pected to also be pub­lished by the Bureau of In­ter­nal Rev­enue (BIR) through a rev­enue mem­o­ran­dum cir­cu­lar (RMC), and posted on its web­site.

Com­monly pre­scribed drugs such as Met­formin for di­a­betes, Am­lodip­ine for hy­per­ten­sion and Sim­vas­tatin for high choles­terol are on the list, and are now cheaper with the VAT-ex­emp­tion as pro­vided un­der the Train Law.

The FDA said some prod­ucts no longer sold here may still be on the list be­cause these drugs still have valid Cer­tifi­cates of Prod­uct Reg­is­tra­tion.

Depart­ment of Fi­nance (DOF) Sec­re­tary Car­los Dominguez III and Depart­ment of Health (DOH) Sec­re­tary Fran­cisco Duque III said this VAT-ex­emp­tion is part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts to widen the peo­ple’s ac­cess to af­ford­able medicines and pro­mote bet­ter health­care among Filipinos.

"Prices of medicines have long been mon­i­tored by the DOH. We will make sure that this tax mea­sure un­der the Train Law will bring re­lief to pa­tients who rely on af­ford­able medicines es­pe­cially when they are taken daily to pre­vent se­ri­ous and even deadly com­pli­ca­tions,” Duque said.

The DOF and DOH, in co­or­di­na­tion with the BIR, is­sued Joint Ad­min­is­tra­tive Or­der (JAO) No. 2-2018 last Dec. 21, 2018 set­ting the gen­eral guide­lines for this VAT ex­emp­tion and de­lin­eat­ing the roles of the gov­ern­ment agen­cies tasked to im­ple­ment this new pol­icy.

Upon the rec­om­men­da­tion of the BIR, the DOF also is­sued Rev­enue Reg­u­la­tions (RR) No. 25-2018, also last Dec. 21, cov­er­ing the rules for the avail­ment of the VAT ex­emp­tion and es­tab­lish­ing a re­dress mech­a­nism for vi­o­la­tions of the rules un­der JAO 2-2018.

Un­der RR No. 25-2018, the BIR re­quired man­u­fac­tur­ers, dis­trib­u­tors, whole­salers and re­tail­ers of drugs and medicines cov­ered by the tax priv­i­lege to promi­nently in­di­cate the word “VAT-Ex­empt” in their in­voices is­sued for the sale of drugs and pre­scribed for the treat­ment and pre­ven­tion of di­a­betes, high choles­terol and hy­per­ten­sion. /

We will make sure that this tax mea­sure un­der the Train Law will bring re­lief to pa­tients who rely on af­ford­able medicines es­pe­cially when they are taken daily to pre­vent se­ri­ous and even deadly com­pli­ca­tions.

FRAN­CISCO DUQUE III DOH Sec­re­tary

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