Pharmaceutical manufacturers are lobbying the Department of Health to give them an extra price increase for private sector sales, in an attempt to soften the blow of the modest raise permitted for 2018. Medicine prices are tightly controlled by the department and companies are usually only allowed one price rise a year. In late December, the department announced the single exit price (SEP) increase for 2018 would be just 1.26%. The Pharmaceutical Task Group (PTG), which represents key drug manufacturer associations, is expected to meet senior department officials on February 14. Top of the agenda is a request for an "extraordinary" price rise, as the 2018 SEP increase failed to cover the rise in input costs faced by manufacturers in the year, said Stavros Nicolaou, chairman of Pharmaceuticals Made in SA, one of the PTG’s member associations. The other associations are the Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of SA (Ipasa), the Self-Medication Association of SA and Generics and Bios...

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