DOH Imposes Mark-up Regulation on Essential Medicines

Administrative Order 2020-0043

The Department of Health (DOH) has recently issued the Administrative Order No. 2020-0043 entitled, “Guidelines on Ensuring the Affordability of Essential Medicines in DOH Facilities Through the Regulation of Price Mark-ups,” in line with the passage of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act which mandates the government to ensure the affordability of essential medicines using price reference indices and determination of price mark-ups among DOH-owned health facilities to protect the patients from excessive and unnecessary charges. This policy shall be implemented in all DOH hospitals and treatment facilities nationwide

In 2017, a study by Wong et al. showed that there is a huge variation of price mark-ups on drugs within and across hospitals.  It was also found that other charges and hospital amenities were being added to the price of medicines making it even more expensive causing financial burden to the patients.

Under the new mark-up scheme, high-priced innovative single-sourced medicines will be made affordable to patients while ensuring fair margins which will allow hospital to recoup pharmacy operational expenses plus an allowable mark-up.

The Administrative Order as well as the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) may be downloaded through this link. For further information, you may send your inquiries at

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October 2020

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