News Release

FDA working with BIR to bring down prices of medicine for senior citizens

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently working with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to bring down prices of medicine for senior citizens through exemption of Value Added Tax (VAT) in selected essential medicines.

FDA Director General Samuel Zacate said the exemption of VAT coverage is through a law known as Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) or Republic Act (RA) No. 11534.

“Basically, the exemption for VAT is through a law – iyong CREATE Law. So, those medicines have been declared by the FDA, endorsed to the BIR para matanggal or mawala iyong kanilang VAT,” Zacate said in a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday.

RA 11534 provides VAT exemption to certain medicines for hypertension, cancer, mental illnesses, tuberculosis, kidney diseases, diabetes, high cholesterol, as well as COVID-19 drugs and medical devices.

Pursuant to the CREATE law, Zacate said the FDA is directed to identify and transmit their list of approved medicines for VAT exemption to other implementing agencies such as BIR.

“Basically…we only endorse it to the BIR kasi kami po iyong nagdi-determine kung ano, para saan talaga iyong gamot. So, FDA ang magsasabi, kung papaano iyong mekanismo, kung paano tatanggalin iyong gamot. So, it’s a joint process po of the FDA and the BIR,” he said.

Last month, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ordered the FDA to implement a 20 percent discount and VAT exemption for senior citizens under RA 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. PND