Taxes on Medicines in Brazil

Brazil is one of the countries that most tax medicines in the world. That’s what Adib Jacob, president of the pharmaceutical division of Bayer Brazil and Latin America, says in an interview with UOL Líderes.

What did he say?

  • Drug tax. Asked about obstacles for the pharmaceutical industry in Brazil, the executive said that the tax on medicines in the country is one of the highest in the world.
  • Advances in cancer treatment. Jacob said that, in some cases, cancer is already a chronic disease, whose patient has a life expectancy similar to that of those with diseases such as diabetes.
  • Definitive cure for diseases. He spoke about the search for a cure for diseases through cell therapy, and said that Bayer is studying similar treatments for Parkinson’s.
  • How to pay for expensive drugs. The executive also spoke about solutions so that governments can pay for high-cost medicines, such as those that use cellular therapy.
  • Future of health. Jacob said that, in the future, he expects earlier diagnoses, with the use of genetic tests and new equipment.

Listen to the full interview on the UOL Leaders podcast. You can also watch the video interview on the UOL YouTube channel. See highlights of the interview below:

drug tax

Brazil is one of the countries that most tax medicines in the world. Sometimes you compare it with a more superfluous good, and the tax burden is much lower than on a medicine. So one should look carefully at the tax burden. This is an important point to reduce the cost.

The tax on medicines for human use in Brazil is 33.87%, according to data from the IBPT (Brazilian Institute of Planning and Taxation). Higher, for example, than the tax on medication for animals, which is 13.11%. The data is from 2021. A survey by Sindusfarma, an entity that represents the pharmaceutical industry, shows that the tax on medicines in Brazil is higher than that of 22 countries, including Argentina (21%), Germany (16%), Japan ( 5%) and United States (zero). The survey uses data from IBPT and BCG (Boston Consulting Group) and is from 2012.

Cancer as a chronic disease

In many pathologies, today cancer is a chronic disease. There are some leukemias that, if we compare the life expectancy of a patient with diabetes, it is basically the same. Nowadays breast cancer is no longer a death sentence, the survival rate has increased. In skin cancer, life expectancy and even healing improved.

cell therapy

Gene or cell therapy is teaching your body again to treat that condition that it is not managing to treat on its own. You extract genetic material from that individual, teach those cells to treat that condition, and reinject it into the individual once. There are already products on the market. And Bayer, among other areas, is studying patients with Parkinson’s.

high cost drugs

It is not possible to consider the cost of the box or the month versus a genetic therapy, which seeks to bring about a cure for the disease. That said, the industry and payers have to create a sustainable model. I’m a big believer in risk-sharing models. I propose that the medicine will have this action. If that patient doesn’t have it, you don’t pay me.

Population aging and health care costs

People live longer, and as they live longer, they will have more health problems. The theme of health expenses is not Brazilian. It is a worldwide reality. The industry has to go after solutions that really improve that treatment, either living longer or with less side effects. And, by bringing this solution, governments will be open to paying. The price has to justify the gain.

future of health

We are going to evolve a lot in using technology for early detection or even preventing diseases. For example, with genetic testing. But also equipment that will allow an early diagnosis. And also more sophisticated pharmaceutical solutions. Gene and cell therapy seeks a cure, and it is no longer science fiction. We already have several treatments on the market and thousands in development.

Adib Jacob - Carine Wallauer and Art Editor/UOL - Carine Wallauer and Art Editor/UOL

Adib Jacob, president of the pharmaceutical division of Bayer Brazil and Latin America

Image: Carine Wallauer and Editoria de Arte/UOL

Who is Adib Jacob

Age: 53 years old
Birthplace: São Paulo
Current position: President of the pharmaceutical division of Bayer Brazil and Latin America
Highlights in career:
National President and General Manager of the Pharmaceutical Division of Novartis in Brazil
Regional President and Germany for the Novartis Oncology Unit
President of Transplantation and Immunology for the Latin America and Eastern Europe Regions at Novartis
Novartis Oncology Regional President North Central Europe
Undergraduate and postgraduate:
Industrial Engineer from the University of São Paulo (USP)
Master in Business and Finance from FGV
Master in Marketing by ESPM

How is Bayer

Employees in Brazil: 6,000
Bayer Group global revenue:
50.7 billion euros in 2022
44 billion euros in 2021
Overall profit of the Bayer Group:
4.1 billion euros in 2022
1 billion euros in 2021

#Taxes #Medicines #Brazil

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