The South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC), has called on members of the public to desist from purchasing unnecessarily large amounts of supplies.
Photo: Thobile Mathonsi African News Agency (ANA)
The South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC), has called on members of the public to desist from purchasing unnecessarily large amounts of supplies. Photo: Thobile Mathonsi African News Agency (ANA)

SA Pharmacy Council discourages panic-fueled purchases of supplies

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Mar 23, 2020

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DURBAN - The South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC), has called on members of the public to desist from purchasing unnecessarily large amounts of medicinal and other essential supplies such as hand sanitisers, face masks, disinfectants and other items.

In recent weeks, several pharmacies across the country have been reported to have experienced stock shortages due to panic-fueled bulk buying of effervescent immune-boosters, hand sanitisers and other medicinal and essential items, as well as attempts to bulk purchase prescription medication.

Unfortunately, such unnecessary bulk purchases deplete stock and deny others access to essential goods.

The council has called on patients, pharmacists and members of the public to work together with all sectors of society to defeat Covid-19 by ensuring continuous availability of transmission prevention essentials for everyone.

The Sapc also commended pharmacy owners and managers who have implemented measures such as limiting items purchased per customer to curb a possible stock shortage. 

The South African government recently announced regulations that would limit the quantity of goods sold to consumers. 

The Department of Trade and Industry has issued directions under the Disaster Management Act and regulations under both the Competition Act and Consumer Protection Act, dealing with pricing and supply matters during the national disaster to ensure justified price hikes or stock-piling of goods.

In regards to stock-piling, regulators must: 

1. All retailers must take steps to limit the quantity of goods sold to any individual consumer; and a list of basic products will be covered. 

2. Retailers must take steps to maintain adequate stocks of basic goods during this period, including for weekends and month-end shopping.

3. There are also provisions to ensure that wholesalers take steps to ensure that there is no stock-piling at the cash-and-carries.  

In a media statement, Rachel Wrigglesworth, Clicks Chief Commercial Officer spoke about the measures that the retailer is taking regards to stock-piling.

"In response to the unprecedented demand and to help give everyone access to essentials, we are limiting products to 6 items per customer in store. This is on ALL our front shop products including hand sanitisers, toilet paper, vitamins, children’s medicine and pain relief," said Wrigglesworth.

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