World self-medication industry
The world federation promoting better health through responsible self-medication
NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization

OTC medicines prices remain below inflation in South Africa, after 2 years of free pricing

In a study reported to the South-African Department of Health, the independent consulting firm G:Enesis confirmed that nonprescription medicines (“Schedule 0” medicines) provide “a widely accessible source of relief for both high and low income consumers”. In November 2004, the South African Department of Health had exempted Schedule 0 medicines from the medicines price regulation scheme on the assumption that, in the nonprescription sector, market-based price competition works better than price controls. The condition was that, after a three-year period, an independent study be conducted to assess the impact upon the market and consumers of granting the exemption. The study reports that “over the two year period from January 2005 to December 2006, the price increases of Schedule 0 medicine prices at the factory gate and the retail level were below those in the general economy”. Nonprescription medicines are sold through as many as 70,000 outlets in South Africa. The low cost of using schedule 0 medication combined with its wide availability at reasonable prices means that consumers across the country have access and can afford them.

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