Effect of Government-Mediated Access Pricing on Availability of Directly Affected Drugs in Retail Drug Stores in the Philippines from 2009 to 2011

Jesus N. Sarol, Jr.1,2

1National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions,University of the Philippines Manila
2Rainiers Contract Research Services, Inc., M2 Strata Suites 300 P Guevarra St., 

San Juan City, 1500 Philippines

Background. There is a scarcity of studies on the effects of government-mediated access pricing (GMAP) as another price regulation approach on drug availability.

Objectives. This study was done to compare changes in percent availability in drug stores from 2009 to 2011 of innovator drugs, competitor drugs and cheap generic drugs containing drug molecules affected by GMAP policies in the Philippines.

Methods. Data from a random survey of 600 drug stores stratified by location and retail type, undertaken seperately in 2009 and 2011 by IMS Health Philippines, were analyzed. Percent availability of the innovator brand, a competitor, and cheapest generic version for 11 selected drug molecules in said drug stores were compared for 2009 and 2011.

Results. Of the 11 innovator drugs, 3 had significant reductions in percent availability in drugstores ranging from 9.7% to 39.0%. Among competitor drugs, 3 had reductions ranging from 37.4% to 81.7%. The availability of cheap generic versions of drug molecules in drug stores immensely increased in 2011 except for telmisartan.

Conclusion. GMAP could have adversely affected availability in drug stores of both innovator and competitor drugs. Cheaper generic drugs have become more available in the Philippines.

Key Words: drug industry, delivery of health care, government regulation, Philippines