Implementing price cap on COVID-19 vaccines would be “difficult”, according to DTI.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez admitted on Saturday that implementing price cap on COVID-19 vaccines would be difficult for the government to negotiate.
This, as Lopez pointed out that developing a COVID-19 vaccine required a lot of extensive research and investment.
“[Kaya] hindi basta-basta makapaglalagay ng price cap [sa vaccine]. Example ito ng gamot na pinag-uukulan ng research and development investment at ginastusan talaga,” Lopez said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.
Lopez also noted that COVID-19 vaccines were normally expensive. However, competition could influence pricing once different COVID-19 vaccines were available in the market.
Nevertheless, the government assured that the doses of COVID vaccines would be given to the poor for free.
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Previously, President Rodrigo Duterte said that priority would be given to the poor, government frontline workers, healthcare workers, and security forces as the Philippines planned to procure an initial 50 million doses of COVID vaccines for at least 25 million Filipinos in 2021.
President Duterte also approved the recommendations for the country to enter into advance supply agreements and give early payments to COVID-19 vaccine producers.
Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals companies Pfizer and BioNTech had sought an approval to release their jointly-developed COVID-19 vaccine early in the United States after ending its clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine with 95% efficacy.
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