Pharmacy Price War 2024 – Clicks vs Dis-Chem vs Checkers vs Pick n Pay

 ·22 May 2024

South Africa is entering flu season, with many South Africans anticipated to visit pharmacies to purchase medicine.

Medicine is essential in fighting off illnesses in South Africa, but it can be costly, particularly for those who do not consider it in their monthly budgets.

COVID-19 may seem like a distant memory, but several other viruses are still spreading in South Africa.

Dis-Chem and Clicks pharmacies may be the largest dispensaries in the country, but over-the-counter medications are also widely available at supermarkets, like Pick n Pay, or at special in-store dispensaries like Medi-Rite in Checkers.

For this comparison, we compared the prices of the ten everyday over-the-counter items that South Africans can buy from all four stores.

For the comparison to be accurate, we only looked at the non-promotional prices. If the store exclusively provided the promotional price on its website, we would calculate it using all available information.

Overall, Checkers was the cheapest retailer in the comparison, with the basket of items costing R965.91.

Dis-Chem came second, with the ten items coming out to R998.58.

Clicks dropped from last year’s number one to third overall, with the ten items costing R1,002.20.

Pick n Pay remains the most expensive basket overall, at R1,026.90.

ProductDis-ChemClicksPnPCheckers
Med-Lemon (18s)R149.95R150.00R149.99R144.99
Strepsils (24s)R99.95R99.99R101.99R79.99
Vicks Acta Plus (100ml)R84.99R84.99R88.99R84.99
Citro Soda (120g)R109.95R127.50R122.99R109.99
Sinutab Saline Nasal Spray (15ml)R89.95R89.99R89.99R87.99
Elastoplast Water Resistant (20s)R36.95R29.99R27.99R25.99
Panado (24s)R34.95R33.75R36.99R33.99
Vicks Vaporub (50g)R72.99R72.99R72.99R68.99
Deep Heat Rub (100g)R 113.95R119.00R134.99R134.99
Centrum Multivitamin Active (30s)R194.95R194.00R199.99R194.99
Total R988.58R1 002.20R1 026.90R965.91

Price increases

Although the outlook for South African consumers may be improving amid decreasing inflation and lower levels of load shedding, many are still facing challenges at the tills.

Inflation in South Africa dropped from 5.3% in March to 5.2% in April and is expected to average around 5.1% in 2024—down from the average of 6% seen in 2024.

However, the average year-on-year increase for the medical items compared was higher than the most recent inflation figure, with an average increase of 8.89%.

Checkers saw the smallest increase of 6.74%.

On the other end of the scale, Clicks saw an 11.39% increase.

Retailers 20232024Change
Dis-ChemR916,54R988.587.86%
ClicksR899,69R1 002.2011.39%
PnP R937.42R1 026.909.55%
CheckersR904.90R965.916.74%
Average8.89%

Read: This is the average take-home pay in South Africa right now

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