Pharmacy advice in home language promotes safe and effective medicine use



Media release


Pharmacy advice in home language promotes safe and effective medicine use

Patients empowered with telephonic medicine advice in all South African languages


Monday, 2 September 2019, September is National Pharmacy Month, which aims to draw attention to the importance of using medicines responsibly for maximum benefit and to prevent potential harm.


“In South Africa, where there are no fewer than 11 official languages, it is crucial that patients have access to expert advice on appropriate use of medicines in a language of their choice,” says Noel Guliwe, Chief Executive Officer of Medipost Holdings who is also a qualified pharmacist.

Chief executive officer of Medipost Holdings Noel Guliwe, who is also a qualified pharmacist, says that for medication to work best, patients need to be able to discuss their medication and how to take it with a registered pharmacy professional in a language they fully understand.


“Generic medicines have improved the availability and accessibility of vital, life-preserving treatments for patients with chronic illnesses in particular. However, to get the best results from any course of treatment the medicine must be taken exactly as indicated without disruption. If medicine is not taken correctly it can, potentially, even be harmful.”


Patients on chronic medicine, in particular, require support to get the best out of their medication. Even in more developed nations, the World Health Organization [WHO] estimates that only approximately half of people who are prescribed chronic medication take it correctly1, while a United States study found that over a third of American adults2 do not have an adequate level of health literacy to get the maximum benefit from medicines, as they have difficulty following the directions for use printed on prescription medication labels.


“Medicine is only effective when those who need it are empowered to take their medication consistently and appropriately as it is prescribed. For medication to work best, patients therefore need to be able to discuss their medication and how to take it with a registered pharmacy professional in a language they fully understand,” explains Guliwe.


According to Rentia Myburgh, Group Sales and Marketing Director of Medipost, the company considers its efforts to empower patients with the relevant information in their preferred language as central to its philosophy of promoting accessibility of medicines.


With 459 qualified pharmacists and pharmacist assistants in Medipost Pharmacy’s employ, the company has invested in the necessary skills to not only deliver medicines, but also to deliver personalised care and support to the public it serves.

The telephonic advice service is available to Medipost Pharmacy customers from 08h00 to 22h00 on Monday to Friday, and 08h00 to 12h00 on Saturdays, to discuss issues such as potential side effects of medicine dispensed through Medipost and directions for use with a properly qualified, registered professional.

“We consider this telephonic pharmacy advice service to be a crucial tool in assisting to address gaps in people’s understanding of how to use medicine effectively, as this is key to proper disease management and promoting better health outcomes,” Guliwe adds.


“When people are equipped with the knowledge to take prescribed medicines to best effect, in their own language, and barriers to accessing chronic medicine are removed through enhanced convenience and affordability, this is a significant step towards enhancing health outcomes for all,” he concluded.




More about Medipost Pharmacy

Medipost Pharmacy, part of the Medipost Holdings group, is the largest such service registered with the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) and provides free delivery of chronic medication anywhere throughout the country to ensure patients have reliable, timeous access to chronic medicines.


For the last 27 years, Medipost Pharmacy has been a trusted partner to medical schemes, private and public patients, providing free delivery to a customer’s home, their nearest approved delivery point, such as a doctor’s rooms, clinic or PEPcell counter, and by arrangement to the customer’s temporary address or holiday destination within South Africa.


The company claims, dispenses, dispatches and delivers chronic medication to beneficiaries, to medical schemes, and other clients such as the employer groups and the Department of Health. Some 400 000 members of 82 medical schemes across South Africa are among those currently benefitting from Medipost’s courier pharmacy service.


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Issued by:           Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Medipost Pharmacy

Contact:               Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster

Telephone:        (011) 469 3016

Email:         ,, or