Medicine for diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension to be VAT exempt in 2019

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A new study says that by 2030, 79 million adults with type 2 diabetes will need insulin, but only half will be able to get an adequate supply.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 28) — Some medicines will be VAT exempt next year.

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay on December 21 signed Revenue Regulation no. 25-2018, which implements value added tax (VAT) exemptions for medicines for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

This is a part of the implementation of the provisions of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law for 2019.

"The exemption from VAT provided herein shall apply to the sale by manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers of drugs and medicines prescribed for the treatment and/or prevention of diabetes, high-cholesterol and hypertension starting January 1,2019," the BIR regulation read.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in charge of identifying these tax exempted drugs.

The Department of Finance, on Friday posted guidelines on the issuance on Facebook.

A list of the medicines that will be VAT exempt starting 2019 can be found on