(2001; 4 pages)
Developments in the South African Drug Action Programme
The South African Drug Action Programme (SADAP) is being actively implemented with the support of WHO. The Pharmaceutical Cluster of South Africa ’s Department of Health is putting great emphasis on issues such as selection, distribution, procurement, financing, GMP inspection, management information systems and training of pharmacists’ assistants.
Norms and standards for management of pharmaceutical expenditure, procurement and distribution - now devolved from the provinces to local level - are being developed as benchmarks by stakeholders from all levels in the health system. The need for these norms and standards was identified as a priority in maintaining and improving the drug supply system during the transfer of responsibilities. They will set out key principles and objectives - by defining an outline of the services that need to be delivered - so as to maximize consistency, while allowing for local variation. A workshop with about 50 participants took place in August to address these issues. A comprehensive computerized pharmaceutical management information system is being developed in parallel with this process. The norms and standards and the information system will allow for variation, but will nevertheless ensure that management decisions on drug supply will be based on reliable data.
SADAP is also supporting drug regulation through strengthening of the GMP now devolved from inspectorate and by there-viewing comments on the are being developed aspharmaceutical legislation that is now being finalized, following the court case concluded earlier this year. This legislation encompasses a number of issues designed to promote the Government’s policy of improving access to medicines. It allows for and regulates: generic substitution; parallel importation; international tendering; and price regulatory measures.