Local pharmaceutical manufacturer Adcock Ingram and its peers are lobbying the health department for an urgent midyear increase in medicine prices to offset a weaker rand, which is pushing up the cost of imports and squeezing profit margins.

Medicines sold in the private sector are subject to government regulations that usually allow for only one price increase a year, capped at a level set by the health minister on the advice of a pricing committee. But there are provisions in the regulations for the minister to grant an “extraordinary” increase when there is a sharp depreciation in the rand...

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