SOUTH AFRICA OUTLINES NEW DRUG DISPENSING FEES
The government of South Africa has announced new medicine-pricing regulations in a move that seeks to benefit pharmacists while making drugs more available in the country -- the largest pharmaceutical market in Africa.
In 2004, the government became the target of criticism after it attempted to place a narrow cap on the dispensing fees charged by pharmacists. This latest push to adjust dispensing fees suggests a "sliding scale" model, in which fees are kept low for cheaper drugs and raised for more expensive medications.
"A lower dispensing fee can be charged at the discretion of the pharmacy owner," said South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang of the new rules. The government noted that the plan, which requires a "single exit price" for drugs sold around the country, will save consumers up to $4.5 billion annually