The Gauteng Department of Health has put measures in place to ensure consistent availability of essential medicines. The Medical Supplier Depot (MSD) is tasked with procurement regarding the availability of essential medicines.
The department puts contracts in place for these essential medicines before giving estimates, of the required quantities, to contracted suppliers. These quantities are required by the government for each line item for the duration of the contract period. For various reasons some of the contracted suppliers run out of stock for some of the essential medicines.
When faced with this dilemma the department of health stated that the MSD has an option to, “Procure the same molecule from non-contracted suppliers. Such suppliers, however, normally do not have enough supplies to meet the huge government demand.
“An alternative for this would be for MSD to seek a molecule similar to the one that is out of stock. It is imperative that this alternative molecule has the same clinical outcomes as the one out of stock.”
This option then becomes a discussion between the pharmacist and clinician with the latter taking the final decision on which alternative treatment to use on which patient.