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Duterte tells Indian PM Modi: PHL needs cheaper medicine from India

President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the Philippines’ eagerness to welcome Indian investments to provide affordable medicines to Filipinos.

At their bilateral meeting late Tuesday night at the Philippine International Convention Center, Duterte told Modi that medications from the United States were unaffordable for a poor country like the Philippines.

“I’m happy that you’re here because of we can’t find the medicines, and you have it and it is—India—people who can really afford to buy it. But you know, you bring—or you go to any other place, America, especially medications and tablets, it’s very, very expensive,” he said.

Duterte said Americans don’t recommend generic medicines since they won’t make money out of them.

“That is the truth. You buy branded medicines. There are so many stories about cheaper, almost socialized pricing for the medicine,” he said.

“And if there is an investor that could be interested, an Indian citizen of yours who would want to venture in our place, we would be happy,” he added.



The media was sent out of the room in the middle of Modi’s opening statement.

Aside from medicines, Duterte and Modi also talked about the two countries' other trade relations, like in the automobile industry.

He also pointed out to Modi that the Philippine National Police uses India-manufactured Mahindra cars.

Toward the end of their bilateral meeting, Modi invited Duterte to visit India in January.

“God-willing, I will be there,” Duterte responded. — MDM, GMA News