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More medicines for cancer, hypertension, mental illness exempted from VAT

by Carl Santos

TO MAKE medications more accessible, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has increased the number of drugs for cancer, hypertension, and mental illness that are not subject to value-added tax. 

In an advisory dated February 15, the FDA said the following products are now VAT-exempt:

A. Medicines for Cancer
Sonidegib (as phospate)- 200 mg capsule
Pemetrexed (as disodium heptahydrate)- 100 mg lyophilized powder for IV infusion
Asciminib (as hydrochloride)- 20 mg film-coated tablet
Asciminib (as hydrochloride)- 40 mg film-coated tablet
Palbociclib- 75 mg film-coated tablet
Palbociclib- 100 mg film-coated tablet
Palbociclib- 125 mg film-coated tablet
Pemetrexed (as disodium hemipentahydrate) – 100 mg powder for concentrate for solution for infusion
Pemetrexed (as disodium hemipentahydrate) 10 mg/mL (500mg/50 mL) – solution for injection (IV Infusion)
Cabazitaxel -60 mg/1.5 mL concentrate for solution for injection
Entrectinib – 100 mg capsule
Entrectinib – 200 mg capsule

B. Medicines for Hypertension
Losartan Potassium + Amlodipine (as besilate) – 100 mg/10 mg film-coated tablet
Losartan Potassium + Amlodipine (as besilate)- 100 mg/5 mg film-coated tablet
Irbesartan + Amlodipine (as Besilate)- 300 mg/5 mg film-coated tablet
Irbesartan + Amlodipine (as Besilate)- 300 mg/10 mg film-coated tablet

C. Medicines for Mental Illness
Cariprazine (as hydrochloride) – 1.5 mg capsule
Cariprazine (as hydrochloride) – 3 mg capsule
Cariprazine (as hydrochloride) – 4.5 mg capsule
Cariprazine (as hydrochloride) – 6 mg capsule

The FDA said the decision was pursuant to Section 12 of the CREATE Act, which provided VAT exemption to certain health products, including drugs for hypertension, cancer, mental illnesses, tuberculosis, kidney diseases, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

In January, the Bureau of Internal Revenue exempted from VAT 21 medicines for cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, kidney diseases, mental illness, and tuberculosis.

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