Policies to Control Prices of Medicines: Does the South African Experience Have Lessons for Other African Countries?

  • Skhumbuzo Ngozwana
Open Access
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Despite the heightened interest in the African pharmaceutical market, there are constraints and challenges that continue to affect access to medicines. One of the key constraints is the high prices of medicines. In the private sector, wholesale and retail mark-ups have been found to range from 2% to 380% and from 10% to 552%, respectively (Cameron et al., 2011). A later study found wholesaler mark-ups between 25% and 50% (IMS Health, 2014a; 2014b), and retail mark-ups between 25% and 500% (Rosen and Rickwood, 2014). Local manufacturers and importers alike have expressed concern over the high mark-ups in the distribution chain, as the exorbitant prices are believed to limit patients’ access and sales.


Reference Price Generic Substitution Price Regulation Retail Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Society 
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© Skhumbuzo Ngozwana 2016

Open Access This Chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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  • Skhumbuzo Ngozwana

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