South Africa prepares for drug battle

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 07 October 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:896
  1. PAT SIDLEY, freelance journalist
  1. Johannesburg

    The pharmaceutical industry is squaring up for battle with the South African government to fight moves to cut drug prices. South Africa's dispensing doctors could lose a considerable portion of their income ifthe government's plans go ahead.

    The issue arises because South Africa has some of the highest drug prices in the world—particularly in the private sector of health care. Adding to the urgency of the situation is the problem of theft of drugs in the public sector, where anything from 500 million to 1 billion rand is lost annually. Drugs are then sold on to the private sector for considerable profits.

    South Africa has a formal system of registering its dispensing practitioners, …

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