The January 1 implementation of reduced dispensing fees for pharmacists will be delayed after the Pharmacy Stakeholders Forum (PSF) and the department of health reached an agreement on the issue on Thursday.
The PSF said the department agreed to suspend the implementation of the fees pending the outcome of a court challenge on the dispensing fee regulations.
On Monday the PSF brought an urgent application in the Pretoria High Court against the new regulations.
The two-pronged application sought a delay of the implementation and the second challenge and main challenge was against the regulations itself.
The case for delay was due to be argued on Friday but would not proceed after the agreement. A court date for application against the regulations has not been determined.
The PSF said the issue should be resolved as soon as possible.
"It would be welcomed if such a resolution can be found outside of the legal process," the group said in a statement.
The group, consisting of several pharmaceutical societies and interest groups have consistently argued that the regulated dispensing fee would place some community pharmacies under crippling financial strain and that as many as 75 percent of pharmacies could be at risk of closing. – (Sapa)
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