The South African Post Office has announced that more than 300 of its branches will now be a collection point for patients to collect their chronic medication.
Excluding the Western Cape, staff at some of the branches across the other eight provinces have been trained to handle medication and dispense it to patients who would normally get their medication from government clinics.
While it might seem like a good idea on paper, the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa has raised concerns about the Post Office’s ability to comply with the rules for keeping medicine safe and secure, while the South African Health Products Authority has questioned the compliance of the matter.
Business Insider reports that the South African Pharmacy Council said it wasn’t consulted and knew very little about how medicines were packaged, transported, stored, and distributed by the Post Office.
Although the state-owned Post Office hasn’t been able to make a profit in 10 years, its turnaround strategy includes this controversial arrangement.
According to reports, the chronic medicine arrangement was concluded between the South African Post Office and provincial departments of health. With the Western Cape being governed by the DA, it casts a spotlight on why the province has been excluded from the matter.
A spokesperson for the South African Post Office has confirmed that medication is returned to the department of health after 14 days of not being collected.
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