“Medicines with a public sale price (PVP) of up to 10 euros have their price updated by 5% and those with prices between 10 and 15 euros will be updated by 2%”, says the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement, explaining that this update takes place outside the usual Annual Price Review process.
As for medicines priced above 15 euros, their price will be revised by comparison with the average of the four reference countries (Spain, France, Italy, and Slovenia), explaining that, in this case, whenever the price is above the average, there will be a reduction of up to a maximum of 5%.
“This administrative increase in prices aims to promote access to medication in Portugal, contributing in the medium term to lower costs for the SNS and for the Portuguese, by preserving the sustainability of the cheapest products on the market, namely generics”, stresses the MS.
The price review, which in addition to facilitating access to cheaper medicines, "protects people from the effects of inflation", and is part of a set of measures that the Ministry of Health will bring in over the first half of this year.
The objective is “to facilitate access to medicines and avoid situations of shortages, responding to the concerns expressed by users, health professionals, and the sector and seeking to guarantee the best conditions of access, as well as the confidence of citizens in relation to the medicine circuit”.
“Considering the volume of medicines sold in Portugal in 2022, these measures, to be applied during the 10 months that run until the end of the year, may generate an increase in expenditure by the State by around 0.4% and by share of citizens, in global terms, of about 0.5%, well below inflation values”.
Additionally, two new mechanisms to protect people will be immediately developed, namely the creation of a list of essential, critical medicines, whose availability will be monitored in a particular way and in relation to which specific measures will be taken, which may include exceptional price revision.
The ministry claims that problems in the production and distribution of medicines have been affecting European countries across the board, with the public reporting of situations of unavailability of medicines, corresponding to cases in which it becomes more difficult to accommodate the effects of inflation and in which there is a risk of these products being withdrawn from the market.
“Although in the overwhelming majority of cases, there are equivalent medicines that can be dispensed to patients, this situation can cause inconvenience to patients and health professionals, which is important to be careful about”.