JSE-listed Afrocentric has invested R100m in refurbishing a warehouse for distributing medicines to state patients with chronic conditions, a strategy it hopes will cement ties with the government as it implements National Health Insurance. Afrocentric’s courier pharmacy business, Pharmacy Direct, is one of three firms that recently won contracts to supply chronic medicines to collection points at schools, churches and retail pharmacies, as part of the health department’s bid to alleviate congestion at public hospitals and clinics. The department’s Centralised Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution programme is a vital part of its plan to increase the number of HIV patients on treatment from the current 4.4 million to 6 million by 2020-2021. "This is how public-private partnerships should work," Afrocentric CEO Antoine van Buuren said on Monday. "We are proving our mettle ahead of NHI," he said. In March, Pharmacy Direct was awarded a three-year contract to supply chronic med...

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