India to supply Philippines affordable COVID-19 medicines

India expressed its commitment to supply the Philippines with affordable pharmaceutical products and medicines used for treating COVID-19.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a phone conversation with President Duterte on Tuesday, said his country is ready to give Philippines COVID-19 drugs.

of Presidential Protocol and Office of Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs said the Indian government requested the call, which lasted for 25 minutes and described by Malacañang as “engaging and productive.” 

“Prime Minister Modi assured the supply of affordable medicines and COVID-19 pharmaceutical products to the Philippines, including Hydroxychloroquine,” the statement read.

“Prime Minister Modi likewise said that India is ready to extend all possible cooperation to the Philippines and that the Philippines will definitely benefit from the vaccine that India is developing,” it added.

Duterte expressed his appreciation of India’s role as a leading global manufacturer and producer of affordable and accessible medicine. The President also lauded Mondi for allowing India to share their pharmaceutical products to the Philippines. Duterte added the decision showed India’s “commitment to cooperation and to good neighborliness.”

During the conversation, President Duterte also commended India’s COVID-19 efforts saying the country’s 2.82 percent death rate is among the lowest in the world. Modi meanwhile congratulated Duterte for his leadership and for the “effective management of the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines,” the statement claimed.

Also read: Duterte confident China will be first to invent COVID-19 vaccine

Duterte and Modi pledged to cooperate in battling against the pandemic and reaffirmed their commitment to exercise international and bilateral cooperation to address the COVID-19 crisis effectively. 

“Both leaders conveyed appreciation for the mutual assistance extended in the repatriation of Filipino and Indian nationals affected by the lockdown measures during the pandemic,” the statement said.

The two leaders likewise agreed to further strengthen cooperation through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Dialogue Partnership. President Duterte said the mechanism could improve collaborations in improving public health systems and food security. Duterte also encouraged India to support the ASEAN Response Fund for COVID-19, the statement added.

Some COVID-19 medicines India is producing are Camostat mesilate (CM), Favipiravir, Remdesivir, and gabexate mesylate and nafamostat mesylate.