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