When the health minister launched the controversial new structure for fees pharmacies could charge when dispensing medicine last year, pharmacists were outraged as they felt the move would result in their operating at a loss.
But, Tshabalala-Msimang told reporters at parliament on Thursday that a review of the structure would be done in consultation with interested parties in the matter.
As a result of the international benchmarking adjustment, the current dispensing fee structure will be reviewed in consultation with all stakeholders, the minister said.
Community pharmacists welcomed the announcement, said the United South African Pharmacies (Usap), which represents about 1 200 community pharmacies.
Chairperson Julian Solomon said Usap was particularly happy about her offer to include interested parties in the process.
We are more than happy to co-operate with the health department in revising the fee structure, and are hopeful that a workable compromise can be reached that would be acceptable to both
pharmacies and consumers.
Solomon had reportedly described last year's dispensing fee structure as a lunatic ruling which favoured large chain stores and would obliterate independently owned pharmacies.
The structure, intended to reduce the cost of medicines, was meant to be applied as follows:
* Where the single exit price of a medicine is less than R75, the dispensing fee is a total of R4 plus 33 percent of the single exit price
*  Where the single exit price of a medicine is R75 or more but less than R250, the dispensing fee is a total of R25 plus six percent of the single exit price
* Where the single exit price of a medicine is R250 or more but less than R1 000, the dispensing fee is R33 plus three percent of the single exit price
* Where the single exit price of a medicine is R1 000 or more, the dispensing fee is a total of R50 plus 1.5 percent of the single exit price.
The Pharmacy Stakeholders Forum (PSF), who had sought legal intervention challenging the fees, on Thursday said they were hopeful that the minister of health may have held out an olive branch.
Spokesperson Anita Heyl said the announcement of a review gave pharmacists a glimmer of hope.
The Pharmacy Stakeholders Forum has repeatedly indicated its ongoing desire and willingness to enter into a consultative process, Heyl said in a statement.
She noted, however, that Tshabalala-Msimang had linked the review to international benchmarking and not to the appropriateness of the dispensing fee structure or the concerns of pharmacists with regard to the recently published pricing model.
Heyl said the dispensing fees were still subject of a legal challenge by pharmacy.
Health department director-general Thami Mseleku said it was regrettable that some pharmacy groups had chosen to take legal action.
It is unfortunate they have chosen to take a lengthy process, despite the fact that we have this review process, which is a shorter than the legal route, he said. - Sapa