Medical schemes are appealing to the health department to reject pharmaceutical manufacturers’ request for an extra price increase for medicines, arguing they are already taking strain from 2018’s VAT increase. Medical schemes would incur additional costs of at least R260m over the next four months if the government agreed to a price increase at the level of consumer price inflation, according to the Health Funders’ Association (HFA), which represents medical schemes and administrators. The increase in VAT, which rose from 14% to 15% in April, had already imposed an unexpected increase in expenditure of R875m on the industry, it said. Most schemes had absorbed these costs without passing them onto members. "Based on data from our member organisations, medical schemes have experienced significant cost inflation during the first half of 2018, a trend which is expected to continue through the rest of 2018 and into 2019. "Overall cost inflation of medicine is driven not only by the [pri...

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