The Independent Community Pharmacy Association, which represents the interests of independent pharmacies, is taking Fedhealth to court for going ahead with plans to introduce a closed pharmacy network. This will force the medical aid scheme’s members to obtain their chronic medication from selected pharmacies, failing which they will have to pay a 40% penalty copayment. The appeal board of the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has already instructed the regulator to investigate the closed network principle. The association has been trying for five years to break what it regards as the power of medical aid schemes to set up closed network systems. Its first challenge to the CMS was dismissed but the appeal board mandated the council to probe the closed network and the penalty copayment mechanisms. The CMS promised to publish a discussion policy document to resolve the issue. However, Independent Community Pharmacy Association CEO Mark Payne said: "The CMS has not demonstrated that th...

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