The National Department of Health (NDoH) has granted Pharmacy Direct the right to distribute chronic medication in four provinces, making it easier for millions of patients to receive prescription medicines in clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, some schools, churches and other pick-up points.
Pharmacy Direct, a member of the AfroCentric Group, is a nationwide courier pharmacy who delivers prescribed chronic medication to a variety of patients – from private individuals, to medical scheme members and beneficiaries of public healthcare sector programmes.
“The contract is a major opportunity of making access to quality healthcare a reality to 1.1 million patients in KwaZulu-Natal and 366,127 patients in Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Limpopo – increasing Pharmacy Direct volumes by 50%,” said Group Chief Executive Officer of AfroCentric Group, Antoine van Buuren, after signing the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) agreement with the NDoH.
The CCMDD programme alleviates long queues at government health facilities and using a different service provider ensures that supply of medicines is monitored and stock is replenished on a more regular basis.
According to Pharmacy Direct, they currently packages 30,000 medicine parcels every eight hours, translating to one parcel per second.
“This three-year contract is a major vote of confidence by the NDoH and we look forward to living up to this challenging task of serving all these provinces. Through this public-private partnership (PPP), public sector patients are assured of reliable delivery of their medication at their care facility or at a convenient place of collection,” said van Buuren.
“For the AfroCentric Group, this is one example of how National Health Insurance (NHI) will happen in reality and this contract is one such opportunity for us to partner with both the government and broader society,” concluded van Buuren.