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PDEA: LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND NOT THE EXCLUSIVE BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE PRICE OF DANGEROUS DRUGS

The law of supply and demand is no longer the exclusive basis for determining the price of dangerous drugs according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“Basically, the availability and demand for dangerous drugs have a direct effect on its price structure. When the market price of illegal drugs falls, it is generally assessed that there is a
greater supply available in the market and vice-versa,” said PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr.

“A closer study of the country’s illegal drug trade however, point to other factors which influenced the market price of illegal drugs,” Cacdac added.

In 2003 when the market was controlled by Chinese/Chinese-Filipino Drug Groups, the price of shabu in the Philippineswas only P600,000 to P700,000 per kilo. The price drastically went up in 2007 to P3 million to P3.5 million when said drug groups decided to
smuggle then market the “2 in1” shabu produced in North Korea which is of high purity. However, the entry of new players in 2009 belonging to the African Drug Syndicates and Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel which marketed low purity but cheaper shabu forced the
Chinese/Chinese-Filipino Drug Groups to revert to the smuggling and local manufacture of low purity shabu which were sold at much lower prices than the “2 in 1” shabu.

Another factor to consider is the use of other methods in producing shabu. The traditional way used in dismantled clandestine laboratories in the Philippines is the “Red Phosporus” or “Nagai Method” where the initial cost of precursor, reagents, and equipment used for producing one (1) kilo of shabu is P1,422,450.00.

The joint operation conducted by the Special Enforcement Service (SES), PDEA and the PNP-AIDSOTF in San Fernando City, Pampanga on September 12, 2014 which resulted in the recovery of 461 kilos of shabu, 236.77 kilograms of ephedrine, 656.76 kilos of 1, 2 dimethyl-3-phenylaziridine and arrest of four (4) Chinese nationals, also led to the discovery of an instructional disk in the manufacture of shabu using the “Birch Method” where the cost of producing one (1) kilo of shabu is only P477,450.00. The use of “Birch Method” significantly reduced the production cost of shabu by 66%.

“The lower their manufacturing cost, the lesser the prices of dangerous drugs offered in the market,” the PDEA chief said, explaining why prices of illegal drugs are not necessarily inversely proportional to the supply.

PDEA is presently intensifying its effort to hit the supply of drugs and arrest of high value targets in compliance to the instruction of President Benigno S Aquino III. (Mr. Glenn J. Malapad, OIC, Public Information Office, PDEA)

Posted By: Edrillan Pasion

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