Original Research

South African pharmaceutical prices: An international price comparison

George G. Djolov
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 6, No 2 | a3319 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v6i2.3319 | © 2019 George G. Djolov | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2019 | Published: 30 June 2003

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George G. Djolov, School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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A major presumption underlying the current debate on pharmaceutical prices in South Africa is that South African medicines are priced at levels out of line with comparable products in other countries. This paper presents some empirical evidence in an attempt to ascertain the validity of these presumptions. The results provide little support for the view that South African prices are in need of controls over and above those already existing through competition. The evidence reveals that recent calls and public policy proposals for parallel importation and its variant reference pricing are misplaced. To put forward such proposals without taking account of existing empirical knowledge for policy (or legislative) making purposes is a less than optimal approach.


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