Three questions for Paulo Bauer


Cadu Gomes / Press Release

Senator Paulo Bauer explains, in this interview, what PEC 115/11 is, of his authorship, and talks about the reasons that led him to propose the total exemption from taxes on medicines for human use in the country.

1) What is PEC 115/11?

It is a Proposed Amendment to the Constitution that I presented in the Senate to totally exempt medicines for human use from taxes. It is worth mentioning that I got the signatures of all the other senators so that the matter could be debated in the Senate. This demonstrates that it is a vital issue for the country and, regardless of ideological positions and whether or not they agree with the proposal, senators are willing to discuss the issue.

2) Why did you decide to address this issue and what is the importance for the development of the country?

During the election campaign, in 2010, when I was preparing my proposals, in contact with voters, I felt that one of the greatest difficulties for everyone is the high price of medicines. People from all walks of life complain that too much is spent on medicines. I researched and noticed that Brazil has the sad title of world champion in the collection of taxes on medicines for human use, it is 33,9%, while veterinary medicines are only 11%. So, I promised in the campaign that I would fight to change this situation and created the PEC dos Remédios.

The approval of this initiative has several direct effects on the well-being of Brazilian society. As it is a PEC, it does not need to be sanctioned by the presidency. Approved, becomes law. It is so important that even the pharmaceutical industry has already declared support, as well as the Minister of Health, Alexandre Padilha. Today, if the doctor prescribes three boxes of medicines, the patient consumes the first, which relieves pain, the second, which generates a small improvement, but, due to the high prices, does not buy the third. The result is that, in a short time, the disease returns, people need to return to the doctor, to the SUS lines and are forced to take even more expensive medications. With almost 40% less tax, everyone will have the possibility to comply with all treatment. This generates a healthier population, fewer people in hospitals, fewer workers without working.

3) What are the expectations for approval and implementation of the PEC?

PEC is currently with the rapporteur, Senator Luiz Henrique da Silveira (PMDB), who has already proved to be favorable. He must present his opinion to the Constitution and Justice Commission later this second semester. If approved, it goes to vote in two rounds at the Senate Plenary. A new approval, and the proposal passes to the Chamber of Deputies, where it needs to be approved in a special commission that will analyze the merit, by the Commission of Constitution and Justice, that analyzes the constitutionality, and, also in two shifts, in the Plenary.

Estimating a deployment time is speculation. But, with political will, we could have the PEC becoming law until half of 2013. But, for that, it is necessary that the society mobilizes and gets in touch with its parliamentarians, asking everyone to commit themselves and vote in favor of the text, that everyone work for PEC to be prioritized, as it is a higher issue than political party issues.