Medicine tablets Tayna/Flickr

Basta tassare i malati

WASHINGTON, DC – Il dibattito sull’accesso ai medicinali poco costosi nei Paesi emergenti e in via di sviluppo spesso trascura una questione importante: i governi in questi Paesi applicano troppo frettolosamente dazi e altre tasse sui farmaci estremamente importanti. Queste misure tendono a generare entrate modeste, e rendono questi farmaci più costosi, lasciandoli fuori dalla portata di chi ne ha più bisogno.

Come i Paesi avanzati, i Paesi emergenti e in via di sviluppo importano alcuni farmaci – se non tutti –, il cui costo viene perlopiù coperto dai pazienti stessi, data la mancanza di assistenza sanitaria di questi Paesi. Gli indiani, ad esempio, pagano il 70% delle spese sanitarie di tasca propria. Con i dazi e le altre tasse che in alcune aree fanno lievitare i costi dei farmaci fino a due terzi, anche la maggior parte dei farmaci generici diventano inaccessibili per i più poveri. Come ha concluso un report di ricerca sul mercato farmaceutico di Delhi, tali imposte sono essenzialmente una “tassa sui malati” che il governo potrebbe facilmente rimuovere.

La storia non è diversa in altri mercati emergenti. Secondo uno studio del 2012 condotto dall’Organizzazione mondiale del Commercio (WTO), Argentina, Brasile, India e Russia impongono dazi pari a circa il 10% sui farmaci importati, mentre Algeria e Ruanda, ad esempio, mantengono un tasso del 15%. La tariffa a Djibouti è 26%. Come emerge dal report, non si capisce perché i Paesi piccoli mantengano dazi elevati sui prodotti per la salute – una mossa che serve solo a spingere al rialzo i prezzi nazionali.

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