A forthcoming review of pharmacy dispensing fees announced by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang on Thursday was well received by pharmacists.
Savings of between 13 percent and 15 percent on medicines are on the cards if draft regulations on pharmacies' dispensing fees are approved. Announcing these on Thursday, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said the fees would be on a sliding scale.
While much progress has been made in transforming the health sector since 1994, we begin this first calendar year of the second decade of our freedom with the momentous task of sustaining efforts to improve access to affordable quality medicine. The transformation of the pharmaceutical industry, both in terms of ensuring the quality of medicine and reducing prices of drugs at manufacturing, distribution and retail industry levels has been the most challenging part of the transformation process in the health sector so far.
A full bench of the Supreme Court of Appeal this morning ruled in favour of the PSSA and its partners. They unanimously agreed that the pricing regulations should be set aside, and that the Department of Health should pay all legal costs.
Medicine Pricing Committee head Di McIntyre came under fire at the National Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers' annual conference in Hermanus yesterday, with delegates disputing a number of the assumptions on which the new pricing regulations were based.
An application challenging the constitutionality of regulations obliging doctors to acquire special licences to dispense medicines was dismissed with costs in the Pretoria High Court on Friday.
For decades participants in the supply chain linking drug manufacturers to patients have profited handsomely in an environment that shielded them from public scrutiny
The final pricing regulations were published 30 April 2004 in Government Gazette No. 26304 The regulations specify that wholesalers, distributors and retailers (community pharmacies) must, on 2 August 2004, sell medicines only in accordance with the provisions of the regulations.
There is uncertainty whether medical-aid companies will pay out claims for medication prescribed by doctors who have not obtained licences to dispense medicine by the May 2 deadline. This follows threats by groups representing doctors to continue providing patients with drugs after May 2, when new dispensing regulations stipulated by the Medicines and Related Substances Control Amendment Act come into effect.
It is with great pleasure that we are today able to issue certificates to a representative group of professionals who have met the requirements for a dispensing licence. More licences will be issued with time.