Pharmaceutical manufacturers are lobbying the department of health for an extra price increase to offset the rand’s steep slide, which has made their imports of active ingredients and finished goods more expensive. The rand has fallen 14.9% against the dollar since the start of 2018 and has so far breached the R15 mark twice in August. It was trading at R14.61 to the dollar at 5pm on Monday. The weak rand has added to the woes of pharmaceutical manufacturers, who were already unhappy with the modest price increase permitted for 2018. They said that increase failed to cover their increased input costs. "It places pharmaceutical manufacturers under tremendous strain," said pharmaceutical task group spokesman Stavros Nicolaou. Medicine prices in the private sector are tightly controlled by the health department, which usually permits one increase a year on the ceiling price for each drug, known as the single exit price. The capped prices mean companies cannot pass on increased input co...

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