It is proposed that where the single exit price of medicine is less than R75,
the maximum dispensing fee payable should be R7 and 28 percent of the price.
Where the single exit price is more than R75, the dispensing fee would be R23
and seven percent of the price.
Where the price is R150 or more, but less than R250, the fee would be R26 and
five percent of the exit price. Where the exit price is more than R250, the fee
would be three percent of this added to R31.
The final figures are to be announced once comments on the draft have been
Tshabalala-Msimang said it was up to consumers to determine the outcome.
Do we want to continue paying exorbitant prices for medicine when a road
map (to affordable medicines) has been put in front of us?
The figures given in the draft regulations were the maximums that could be
charged, but pharmacists could charge less at their discretion.
Consumers would receive an invoice that gave figures for the single exit
price of a medicine and the dispensing fee.
We want to make it easy for citizens to (see) if they are being taken
for a ride or if pharmacies are sticking to the rules.
The draft regulations follow a Constitutional Court decision that upheld the
government's medicine pricing regulations, but ordered a review of the
dispensing fees of a maximum of R26 for medicines priced at more than R100 and
26 percent for those under R100.
Anban Pillay, of the department of health, said: We are trying to find
a balance between lowest possible cost to the patient and a pharmacy remaining
The department had sent questionnaires to all 2 532 pharmacies in the country
to determine appropriate fees. We received only 162 analysable
The findings showed some pharmacies would not be viable, no matter what the
Where you have five or more pharmacies in an area, each fills fewer
Pillay said the proposed fees would bring down the prices of medicine
We took the price of a combination analgesic. In 2003, its cost was
Under the proposed dispensing fee it would be R47,29. If (the regulation) is
not introduced, it would be R57,66.
But United South African Pharmacies said the fees might not be adequate.
While the structure is suitable, the amount may be inadequate,
chairman Julian Soloman said.
Netcare has welcomed the tiered structure.
This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Times on March 10,