Johannesburg - Civil servants are paying more for their
chronic medication dispensing fees than the maximum amount mandated by Health
Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, according to a report on Monday.
Some members of the Government Employees Medical Scheme
(Gems) who need medication priced lower than R40 are sometimes even paying
double the amount, The Star newspaper reported.
This is because Gems has awarded the contract to Medipost -
a courier pharmacy - which is the scheme's sole medicine supplier.
Should patients opt not to use Medipost, which had
negotiated a flat fee of R23.78, they stand to be penalised with a 30%
co-payment for using another pharmacy.
The Star said it was in possession of a member's invoice
which showed that the person paid R40.36 (including the professional fee) for a
medicine worth R16.58.
At a pharmacy, the same drug would cost R30.20, including
the maximum dispensing fee of R13.62.
When contacted for comment by the daily newspaper, both
Medipost and Gems said they were not breaking the law and that the negotiated
fee is inexpensive and cost effective for the scheme and its members.