Increase in ICMS Skyrockets Medicine Prices: Impact on States in 2024!

Increase in ICMS Skyrockets Medicine Prices: Impact on States in 2024!
Increase in ICMS Skyrockets Medicine Prices: Impact on States in 2024!

Amid the economic fluctuations and regulatory adjustments that characterize the Brazilian business environment, pharmaceutical industries face a considerable challenge in regulating and adjusting drug prices. This article explores recent tax changes and the stance of entities representing the sector regarding the current price control model.

The debate surrounding the medicine price regulation model in Brazil has been intensifying. Industry representatives, such as Sindusfarma, argue that the current mechanism prevents companies from achieving financial balance. According to data released by the entity, the accumulated variation in medicine prices in the period from 2014 to 2024 was lower than general inflation, accumulating 72.7% against 77.5% for the IPCA.

What is the pharmaceutical industry’s outlook?

Increase in ICMS Skyrockets Medicine Prices: Impact on States in 2024!

The release of drug prices, according to Sindusfarma, could be a viable alternative for certain therapeutic classes. Nelson Mussolini, executive president, highlights that “in a highly competitive environment, competition alone would regulate prices”. He suggests that medicines with a wide variety of brands could be excluded from price control, similarly to over-the-counter medicines, which are already exempt from this regulation.

How does the ICMS adjustment affect the price of medicines?

In addition to the issue of price control, the sector was also impacted by the increase in ICMS in several states. In 2024, eleven Brazilian states readjusted the ICMS rates applicable to medicines, which, directly, contributed to the increase in prices for the final consumer. The rates vary significantly between states, ranging from 12% to 22%, with a directly proportional impact on the cost of medicines.

What is the variation in ICMS by state and its impact?

  • Generics: Rate of 12% in Minas Gerais and São Paulo.
  • Various States: Rate of 17% in states such as Espírito Santo and Rio Grande do Sul, and 18% in Amapá and São Paulo.
  • High tax rate: Some states reached rates of 20% or more, such as Ceará and Rio de Janeiro.

This diversity in the application of ICMS rates directly reflects the final price of medicines, varying according to the region. The ICMS table, provided by entities such as Abrafarma and Anvisa, is an important indicator of the tax burden on medicines and its impact on accessibility for the population.


The current context of drug prices in Brazil is complex and multifaceted, encompassing both regulatory and tax aspects. As discussions on the price control model continue, it is essential to monitor the impacts of tax changes on the pharmaceutical sector and, consequently, on the population. The objective remains to find a balance that is not only financially viable for companies in the sector, but also guarantees accessibility and well-being for society.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Increase ICMS Skyrockets Medicine Prices Impact States



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