“These savings are calculated according to the difference between the product dispensed versus the relevant medical scheme’s reference pricing, and these savings help to keep schemes’ membership contribution increases to a minimum for the following year,” explains Rentia Myburgh, sales and marketing director of Medipost Holdings, which comprises Medipost Pharmacy, Kawari Wholesalers, MediLogistics and MediTraining Academy.
Medipost Pharmacy currently serves 400 000 medical scheme members on average each month, including close on 180 000 beneficiaries of South Africa’s largest closed medical scheme, which the courier pharmacy company has worked with for over 12 years.
“With a significant and growing proportion of the public requiring long-term medicine for chronic illnesses, this has become a major cost driver for medical schemes and the members they serve. Chronic medicines are a lifeline, yet many people are unaware that there are measures they can take to help reduce the costs associated with treatment.”
Medipost Holdings is able to keep the costs of medicines low due to the large scale of its operations and the fact that the group companies complement each other in a secure value chain.
The group’s in-house supply and distribution service Kawari Wholesalers obtains medicines directly from pharmaceutical manufacturers, while the group logistics company, MediLogistics, transports the medicines to Medipost Pharmacy in accordance with the principles of Good Pharmacy Practice. Once the medicines have been dispensed, MediLogistics transports the patient-ready parcels to medicine collection points and directly to patients, completing the continuum of care.
Medipost Pharmacy’s dispensing fees are considerably below the market average, and customers are not billed for the administrative or courier delivery fee aspects of the service.
“Once an individual has been to their doctor and obtained a prescription, our service allows them to place the order for delivery via our website, email, WhatsApp or even fax, whichever is most convenient for the individual,” she explains.
“Medipost Pharmacy can also assist medical scheme members to ensure that the medicines dispensed are claimed from the appropriate benefit category, which ultimately results in medical scheme members’ benefits and savings, where applicable, being conserved, with the added convenience of free delivery of medicines through MediLogistics,” Myburgh adds.
This year, Medipost Pharmacy introduced self-medication products to its offering, whereby customers can place orders for a wide range of health products that can be bought without a prescription. Orders for these unscheduled products can be placed with a simple telephone call or WhatsApp message. A list of currently available self-medication products can be obtained via email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Medipost Holdings continuum of care approach is not only saving South African medical schemes millions of rands and preserving members’ funds, but it is also helping to make life-saving medicines more accessible to all. In addition, through enhancing the accessibility of medicines our service assists in supporting treatment adherence among those living with chronic health conditions for better health outcomes,” Myburgh concludes.