The No Taxes on Drugs and Devices Initiative (NtDDi), an international coalition of scholars and health experts that calls for eradication of surcharges on life-saving drugs and devices yesterday applauded Brazil for reducing import taxes by 11% on approximately 1,000 essential drugs.
The organization added, however, that Brazil must now drop taxes and tariffs on all life-saving medicines and medical devices to improve access for the country’s 186 million citizens.
“While Brazil’s announcement on reducing taxes on medicines is encouraging, this is just the start of what needs to be done,” said Roger Bate, co-director of NtDDi.
“We urge Brazil with an average tax and tariff of 29% to drop these highly regressive barriers on access to medicines.”
A recent study by NtDDi has uncovered widespread taxes on medicines in the developing world – Brazil still maintains a 9% tariff, Nigeria a 20% tariff, and India a 16% tariff.
NtDDi members call on the eradication of surcharges, duties, tariffs and other taxes on life-saving medicines and medical devices.
NtDDi estimates that a 1% overall decrease in taxes and tariffs is associated with a 1% increase in access to essential medicines worldwide.
“We urge Brazil to adopt the principles of NtDDi in the name of those suffering,” said Richard Tren of Africa Fighting Malaria and NtDDi co-director. “Brazil has a moral obligation to drop all taxes and tariffs.”
No Taxes on Drugs and Devices Initiative aims to improve access to life-saving medicines and medical devices for people living in developing nations around the world afflicted by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, ,malaria and other pandemic diseases.
NtDDi is composed of a variety of like minded organizations and scholars including: economists, health experts and trade officials who will collaborate in their efforts to eradicate unnecessary and burdensome barriers to treatment for the world’s poor.