Palma.— In July this year, people in the Balearics and elsewhere in Spain started having to pay more towards their medicines and other pharmaceutical items after Central Government ruled that extra funding was needed to cover costs of the public health service.

The taxation on medicines in July meant that costs to the public rose by 36.3 percent in July in comparison to the previous month of June, and by 22.7 percent compared to the same month in 2011, the National Institute of Statistics reported yesterday.

The increase is in stark contrast to a year-on-year fall in the price of medicine of 10%, the INE confirmed. In May, medicine costs had fallen in year-on-year terms by 9.8%, highlighting the fact that it has been the taxation which forced the cost of pharmaceutical items to rocket last month.

The Ministry for the Economy agreed that despite soaring energy costs, inflation would have maintained its level of 1.9 percent registered in June if subsidies to the public for medicines had not been restricted. “The cost of medicines in their own right has not increased,” a ministry spokesman said.

Apart from medicine, inflation was also affected by an increase in year-on-year transport costs which were up last month by 3.8 percent. Housing costs over the same period were up 5.4%.

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