Dis-Chem has welcomed the Pretoria high court’s decision to allow pharmacists to manage and prescribe medicine for HIV and tuberculosis (TB) patients.
The court this week gave the South African Pharmacy Council the green light to introduce its Pharmacy-Initiated Management of Antiretroviral Treatment initiative.
Judge Elmarie van der Schyff dismissed an application brought by a doctors’ organisation — the Independent Practitioner Association Foundation — for the setting aside of the programme.
Van der Schyff said the pilot project emphasised the value of the initiative‚ which is in line with the World Health Organisation’s vision to promote widely accessible primary healthcare.
“We applaud any move which will expand access to HIV services. This decision ties into our healthcare ambitions and focus to provide integrated primary healthcare to a greater number of consumers‚ aimed at increasing access‚ reducing cost and delivering better health outcomes for more South Africans‚” said Dis-Chem executive manager Tanya Ponter.
“HIV and TB place significant burdens on the broader healthcare system‚ so moves to improve access and availability of first-line antiretrovirals and TB preventive medicine is critical to improving the health outcomes of people living with HIV.
“Primary healthcare is gaining widespread recognition as being the ‘front door’ of the healthcare system and pharmacies are ideally positioned as a fundamental entry point to first-line treatment protocols and the wider healthcare ecosystem.”
Source: ARENA Holdings.