THE EUROPEAN Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) asked the government to fast-track medical procurement to help pharmaceutical and medical device companies address the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement, the chamber said the Philippine government should help healthcare companies improve access to medical products by providing guidelines on the entry, use and distribution of the goods.

“We prescribe the implementation of a set of procurement guidelines that adapts to the ongoing health crisis, allowing for the expedited channel in purchasing and acquiring diagnostics and medicines used to treat COVID-19,” it said.

ECCP said the government should expand pooled procurement and multi-year contracts to increase the volume of healthcare products in the country.

It also said the government should give real data and projections on product demand to pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Incentives should also be given to encourage public-private partnerships to drive research in medical companies, ECCP said.

The chamber said it supports a temporary price freeze on certain drugs and medicines given the public health emergency. — Jenina P. Ibañez