What is it?

The Essential Drug Programme (EDP) in the Department of Health (DOH) publishes an Essential Medicines List and Standard Treatment Guidelines as well as a medicine master procurement catalogue.

Key Points

  • Over 1,100 medicines listed in master procurement catalogue
  • Includes supplier, price, lead time and contract end date
  • XLSX file is updated monthly
  • Essential medicines and treatment guidelines in PDF

Why is it Important?

The EDP aims to ensure equal access to medicines for all South Africans by defining essential medicines and treatment guidelines, and negotiating medicine pricing and supply contracts which are published in the master procurement catalogue. Public health facilities and practitioners can refer to these guidelines and the catalogue to ensure they are providing essential medicines at the best price.

How can it be accessed and used?

There are two main data sources of interest under the EDP:

  1. Essential Medicines List and Standard Treatment Guidelines published as a series of large PDF files related to specific topics such as PHC (Primary Healthcare Level), Hospital level (Adults) and Hospital level (Paediatrics).
  2. Master procurement catalogue is published as an XLSX spreadsheet and is updated monthly with current medicines, suppliers, pricing, lead times, contract start dates and contract end dates.

Master procurement catalogue for medicine used in public health facilities

Location: South Africa
Format: XLSX CSV
Year: 2018Last Checked:None
Online: Access URL
File Names:
  • Description As per Contract: Description of the medicine
  • Supplier Name: Name of the medicine supplier
  • Price 15% VAT (ZAR): Price per unit of medicine

Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List for South Africa Primary Healthcare Level 2018 Edition

Location: South Africa
Format: PDF
Year: 2018Last Checked:None
Online: Access URL
File Names:
  • DESCRIPTION: Description of the diagnosis and profile of the patient
  • GENERAL MEASURES: General treatment guidelines
  • MEDICINE TREATMENT: Medicine dosage guidelines
  • finance
  • spending
  • health

Resource contact name:Essential Drug Programme South Africa, Directorate: Affordable Medicines

Creation or start date:2018-12-11

Resource contact updated at:2018-12-14

Spatial coverage  South Africa http://www.geonames.org/953987/south-africa.html

Where else has the resource been used?

Year Project Name::
2018 Access to colorectal cancer (CRC) chemotherapy and the associated costs in a South African public healthcare patient cohort
2018 Direct costs of managing adverse drug reactions during rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis treatment in South Africa
2016 Modelling the healthcare costs of skin cancer in South Africa