Republic Act No. 9502

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Republic Act No. 9502, or the "Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008", is a measure intended to enhance access to generic drugs that will provide cheaper but quality medicines to Filipinos. The law amended Republic Act No. 6675 or the Generics Act of 1988, Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code, and Republic Act No. 5921 or the Pharmacy Law. The law was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on 6 June 2008.

The law allows the parallel importation of patented medicines from other countries where they are more affordable. It also bars the grant of new patents based only on newly-discovered uses of an ingredient of an existing drug. Generics firms will be allowed to test, produce, and register their versions of patented drugs.

The President of the Philippines is also empowered to "impose price ceilings on various drugs upon the recommendation of the Health Secretary" of the Department of Health (DOH). Drug outlets will be required to carry a variety of medicine brands, which include those sourced through parallel importation -- giving consumers more choices.

The Law also creates a congressional oversight committee, such as the Quality Affordable Medicines Oversight Committee, to monitor the implementation of the "Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act."


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