THE SECRETARY of State for Health admitted last week that the price of generic medicine would increase by four per cent.
Francisco Ramos said that while there would be a general six per cent decrease in the price of drugs from October, generics would go up to enable the government to increase its purchase of the non patented brands by 10 per cent.
Generic drugs are white brands that can be produced cheaply because their ingredients are no longer covered by expired brand patents. Examples of common generic drugs are aspirin, paracetamol and many antibiotics.
According to a study carried out by the National Pharmaceutical Association, the announcement means that the average Portuguese will be hit by an overall 29.6 per cent annual increase in their drug bill. Overall, the rising price of generics will cost the patients an extra 4.2 million euros a quarter.