The healthcare market in South Africa is growing due to high prevalence of chronic indications, regulatory reforms and new healthcare policies. However, the pricing policies that promote the dispensing of low cost drugs are hindering the growth of the pharmaceutical market.
In 2013, the population was approximately 53 million, having grown at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 1.7% from 2008. Due to improvements in healthcare facilities, the elderly population has been increasing and as of 2013 comprised 5.2% of the entire population (STATSSA, 2008; STATSSA, 2009; STATSSA, 2010; STATSSA, 2011; STATSSA, 2014g).
Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB) have high prevalence rates in South Africa. In 2011, approximately 11.2% of the total population was infected with HIV. In 2009, the TB incidence rate was 971 per 100,000 population, and the prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular, renal and respiratory diseases has increased due to changes in lifestyle (HST, 2011). These are the driving factors for the growth in the pharmaceutical market.
In 2006, the government introduced the Free Healthcare for All policy, under which free healthcare will be provided to all South Africans in all public healthcare facilities (Harrison, 2009). This has increased the usage of healthcare facilities, which has in turn increased pharmaceutical consumption. In 2013, the government proposed revisions to its intellectual property rights policy to both enforce patent protection and increase the accessibility of medicines, which is currently under review (Médecins Sans Frontières, 2014). The government also introduced National Health Insurance (NHI) in 2011, which is expected to further promote the use of healthcare facilities.
In South Africa, the price that a manufacturer can charge for a drug is based on a Single Exit Price (SEP), which is the price decided by the government after selecting the lowest price of the drug in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Spain. The pharmacies get the drug at the SEP and the pharmacists add a markup. The pharmacists are allowed to charge the highest markups on the medicines with the lowest cost. This promotes the dispensing of low cost generics over branded drugs, hindering the growth of pharmaceutical market.
Key Topics Covered:
1 Tables & Figures
3 Overview of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Markets
4 Market Access
5 Country Analysis
6 Opportunities and Challenges
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