Welcome to the Doctors' Portal
00:00 Sunday
Mediclinic News : Motsoaledi proposes 5.7% ceiling on medicine price hike

Title

Motsoaledi proposes 5.7% ceiling on medicine price hike

Date

2016-07-01

Link

News Description

BUSINESS DAY LIVE Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has proposed that private-sector medicine prices rise by no more than 5.7% when the next price hike is permitted in January 2017. Interested parties have been given three months to comment. Medicine prices are controlled in terms of regulations to the Medicines and Related Substances Act, which empower the minister of health to set an annual maximum price increase. The regulations permit additional increases, a provision that has been used in 2016 to take account of the weakening rand, as it has made imports more expensive and threatened the sustainability of low-margin products. The minister allowed drug companies to raise prices 4.8% in January, and is expected to announce shortly that he has granted a further increase for 2016 of about 3% to compensate for the depreciation in the rand. The proposed 2017 price increase was published in the Government Gazette last Friday. Aspen Pharmacare head of strategic trade Stavros Nicolaou said local pharmaceutical companies wanted the Health Department to change the formula it used for calculating the annual price hike so that it took better account of the exchange rate-associated costs of imports. The annual single exit price increase for the private sector is determined using a weighted formula that includes the consumer price index at 70% and the exchange rate at 30%. The exchange rate portion of the formula gave equal weighting to the dollar and the euro, Nicolaou said. The single exit price is the price at which pharmacies buy their medicines, to which they can add a regulated mark-up. Nicolaou said most imports of medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients were dollar-denominated, so more weight should be given to the rand-dollar exchange rate than the rand-euro exchange rate in the formula. Trade association Pharmaceuticals Made in SA, of which Aspen is a member, also wanted the Health Department to consider changes in the exchange rate over a narrower window, to better reflect sudden currency swings, Nicolaou said. Currently, the formula considers the average exchange rate over a 12-month period to September. Attempts to obtain comment from the Department of Health were unsuccessful at the time of publication.
Created at 2016/07/06 10:22 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/07/06 10:22 AM by Mediclinic