SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
STANDER, M P; BERGH, M and MILLER-JANSON, H. A first step towards transparency in pricing of medicines and scheduled substances - publication of guidelines for pharmaco-economic submissions. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2014, vol.104, n.1, pp.10-11. ISSN 2078-5135.
The National Department of Health of South Africa recently published guidelines for pharmaco-economic (PE) submissions in accordance with the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act 101 of 1965), which came into effect on 1 April 2013. These guidelines relate to the compilation of PE submissions for evidence of cost-effectiveness of medicine or scheduled substances. The PE guidelines are a first step towards the creation of a mechanism whereby the value of medicine can be quantified in a transparent manner. The 'voluntary' nature of PE submissions speaks to the current lack of knowledge, understanding and capacity related to pharmaco-economics that exists in the private healthcare market. The current disconnect between the PE guidelines and the Medical Schemes Act should be addressed as a matter of urgency to provide a mechanism whereby guidance in terms of cost-effectiveness from a PE evaluation will be supported by guaranteed reimbursement by medical schemes.