The adjustment in the Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS) in 2024 should increase the medicine price in 10 Brazilian states and the Federal District. The expected increase is between 1% and 2% and does not include the fixed annual correction in the cost of medicines.
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The state tax will increase in 11 federative units, namely: Maranhão, Paraná, Tocantins, Bahia, Ceará, Goiás, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rondônia and the Federal District.
In addition to the increase in all categories caused by ICMS, there will be another increase in March, due to the annual adjustment defined by the Medicines Market Regulation Chamber (Cmed). Companies are authorized to make a fixed annual correction in the value of these products, so the increase will be double for the consumer in 2024.
The pharmaceutical sector reported that the increase caused by the tax began to be applied throughout January and medicines have already become more expensive since the beginning of the year.
Search for more revenue
The National Committee of Secretaries of Finance, Finance, Revenue or Taxation of the States and the Federal District (Comsefaz), responsible for the adjustment in ICMS, justifies that the decision is necessary to reverse the drop in revenue. According to the entity, the changes in tax collection generated revenue losses of around R$109 billion.
According to the Brazilian Association of Pharmacy and Drugstore Chains (Abrafarma), the tax burden on medicines in Brazil is up to six times higher than the world average. Countries charge an average of 6% tax on medicines, but the Brazilian rate reaches 36%.
Also according to the association, the rise in prices should increase the rate of non-adherence to clinical treatments, currently at 54%.