The Pharmaceutical Products Industry Union (Sindusfarma) did not welcome the approval of the Income Tax reform, on Wednesday (1), by the Chamber of Deputies. This is because, to offset the reduction in the IR rate, the project plans to end the PIS/Cofins exemption for health products – which includes 18,000 drug presentations.
According to the organization’s president, Nelson Mussolini, if the text, as it is, is also passed in the Senate, there will be a 12% increase in continuous-use medications sold in pharmacies. These drugs are used for the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, cancer and AIDS, between others.
Tax benefit is granted to 67% of drugs labeled in the country — Photo: Agência O Globo
“Tax benefit is granted to 67% of the drugs labeled in the country. There is also an impact for hospitals, because, in addition to the end of the exemption for products sold in drugstores, there will be an increase in the prices of hospital products, not only in medicines, but in needles, ampoules, syringes. Who will pay is the one who most needs public health, because they are people who generally do not pay Income tax”, said Mussolini.
By Sindusfarma’s calculations, the end of the tax benefit will increase the Ministry of Health’s budget by R$1.5 billion. Today, the folder has R$20 billion to R$22 billion available per year. “The budget is closed, and this extra amount corresponds to what is applied in the program Popular Pharmacy or three times what is spent on the AIDS. The ministry will not be able to maintain these programs with this encumbrance. The worst part, this resource, does not go to Health, it goes to the Federal Revenue”, said the director.
Mussolini also warned of the possibility of increased judicialization in public health, as there will be a lack of medicine in the system. “It will further increase the valley between those who can afford health care and those who cannot,” he said. “We are in contact with senators and deputies to modify the text. We are discussing health”, he pointed out.