n SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Cost comparison between repackaging bulk oral solid medicines at provincial pharmaceutical depots and purchasing manufacturer-prepared patient-ready packs available on the national contracts in South Africa : pharmaco-economics

Volume 83, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Patient-ready packs (PRPs) are convenient medicine package sizes to be dispensed to patients. In South Africa, some manufacturer-prepared PRPs are available for procurement by provincial medicine depots on National Contracts. However, when PRPs are not available, bulk medicines must be repackaged into PRPs at the repackaging units of provincial pharmaceutical depots. This research was aimed at determining the less costly method of obtaining PRPs for primary healthcare (PHC) facilities in South Africa.

Site visits to the repackaging units of four depots were conducted to evaluate the repackaging processes and determine all associated costs. These costs were then reduced to represent cost per unit PRP for each medicine line being repackaged. These were then compared with the cost of purchasing manufacturer-prepared equivalent PRPs available on National Contracts.
Overall, four depots were repackaging 96 PRP lines meant for primary healthcare (PHC) facilities. Of these, only 61 (63.5%; n= 96) were available on National Contracts in equivalent pack sizes. The cost of packaging 35 (57.4%; n= 61) of the PRPs by the depots was less than the cost of equivalent pack sizes available on National Contracts. Only 35 (36.5%; n= 96) lines were targeted at the required PRP lines not available on National Contracts.
There is no statistically significant difference between the cost of Manufacturer-prepared PRPs available on National Contracts and equivalent pack sizes made through repackaging at provincial pharmaceutical depots in South Africa.

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