A seven year battle against one of South Africa’s leading pharmaceutical retail chains has ended in victory for independent pharmacies as the Constitutional Court ruled that health and beauty retailer Clicks contravened regulations of the Pharmacy Act.
The matter relates to the Clicks Group also owning Unicorn Pharmaceuticals which manufactures medical drugs. According to the Act, a person or corporate entity may not enjoy interests in both a manufacturing and dispensing pharmacy.
The Independent Community Pharmacy Association(ICPA) had argued that the Clicks Group violates the Act as it has interests in both areas, together with a network of more than 600 retail outlets nationwide to dispense its drugs.
The Constitutional Court panel ruled 5-4 in favour of the ICPA arguments. The Department of Health must now determine the appropriate sanction to be imposed against the Clicks Group. The retailer will have to consider options to abide by the Concourt ruling.
What are the implications of this landmark judgement?
Guest: Mogamat Botha – Legal advisor for the Independent Community Pharmacy Association’s (ICPA)