Meds and you

15 February 2007

Dispensing fee rethink

The health department is to review the fees that pharmacists may charge for dispensing medicine, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said on Thursday.

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The health department is to review the fees that pharmacists may charge for dispensing medicine, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said on Thursday.

She told reporters at Parliament the review would be done in consultation with stakeholders.

"As a result of the international benchmarking adjustment, the current dispensing fee structure will be reviewed in consultation with all stakeholders," the minister said.

In a move intended to reduce the cost of medicines, government last year tabled new dispensing fees, which were 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.

However, some pharmacies were not impressed with the fees and mounted a legal challenge.

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 shorter than the legal route," he said. – (Sapa)

Read more:
Meds and You Centre
New dispensing fees delayed

February 2007

 

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