ARGUMENTS on the real author of the Cheaper Medicines Act refuse to cease between rival camps.

Iloilo Representative Ferjenel Biron, author of House Bill 2844 or the Cheaper Medicines Bill, demanded Tuesday that Senator Mar Roxas pull out his advertisements crediting the Cheaper Medicines Act to him.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

“It is not truthful. It is false claim. He can say that he is the author of one provision,” he said.

Roxas is the author of the counterpart Senate Bill 1658, which also amends the Intellectual Property Code to help the local generics industry.

Republic Act 9502, or the "Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008" has been signed two years ago.

The law excluded the provision to create a drug price regulatory board, which is part of HB 2844.

Biron said the House bill makes the regulation of drug prices mandatory while the counterpart Senate bill made no mention of such provision.

“It's pure political propaganda. If you appeal to the people to vote for you, of course, you should be for the masses but the Filipinos don't know that you killed their interest because you rejected price regulation,” he said.

Roxas should be blamed for the "watered down" version of the bill, according to Biron.

“He doesn't want any form of regulation. The bill almost did not pass until the House contingent agreed to a compromise (during the bicameral). It did not become mandatory, it became conditional,” he said.

“The medicines have to go through the secretary of health to determine which among the meds should be regulated. Instead of 1,500 medicines, it became 22,” he said.

Liberal Party Secretary-General Chito Gascon said the reason why Biron is pissed off at the exclusion of the drug price regulatory board in the Cheaper Medicines Act is because it would have been able to control the rival pharmaceutical company Pharmawealth In. allegedly owned by Biron. (Angela Casauay/Sunnex)