Pharmacy Direct delays: Diabetic patient without meds for 14 days

Pharmacy Direct is not delivering chronic medication on time with the delay causing patients to get sick, several Radio 702 listeners claim.

The company delivers chronic medication to patients all over South Africa.

Diabetes patient Priscilla says she's waiting for her medication for about two weeks now.

Every month, you get a delay of about two weeks. I'm diabetic and when I go for two weeks without medication, my levels go up. I last took medication last week, which I bought from the pharmacy.

Priscilla, diabetes patient

Afrocentric Health is the parent company, based in Roodepoort.

It's CEO, Antoine van Buuren, explains that co-payments are generated when patients choose medication that isn't on their medical fund or they select medication that is original, instead of a generic.

There are mainly two challenges we are faced with. The first thing is, is there a valid script for the patient. Secondly, are the co-payments being made?

Antoine van Buuren, Afrocentric Health CEO

He adds when co-pays are involved and aren't paid on time, then medication will get delayed. He goes on to say they deliver over 500,000 parcels a month.

If there is a problem, I would advise people to call Pharmacy Direct and resolve [the issue]. There will be full cooperation to resolve the matter on the same day.

Antoine van Buuren, Afrocentric Health CEO

I called yesterday. My mother is 63-years-old and hasn't been received her medication for the past four months because she owed R116. We called but were never told about the outstanding balance. Mind you, my mom pays R3,000 every month.

Cecilia, caller

Van Buuren says they allow their customers up to 25 days to pay their co-pay before their next delivery and adds that it is incorrect that the patient claims to have been unaware of their outstanding balance.

Take a listen:

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