With South Africa in a recession, and consumers already struggling to balance budgets each month, health products and medicines are often overlooked as an area where one could save some money.
While compromising on healthcare is out of the question for many, you can make a small saving if you’re willing to shop around and seek out stores that sell your preferred brands for less.
Along with many privately-owned pharmacies across South Africa, companies such as Dischem and Clicks Pharmacies have made dispensaries widely available to the public.
On top of these specialist stores, most of South Africa’s grocery stores carry common over the counter (OTC) medical aides, with some of the bigger stores in the franchises also having their own special pharmaceutical dispensaries.
Pick n Pay has its in-store pharmacy PnP Dispensary at 31 stores in South Africa – while Shoprite and Checkers has over 140 MediRite Pharmacies in stores across the country.
Spar also has an in-store Pharmacy at Spar brand in select locations.
We shopped around for 10 common OTC items at these stores, and found out which offered the lowest prices.
Promotional discounts were not taken into consideration, though it should be noted that stores hold specials on a regular basis – often seasonally, to cater for associated ailments.
As with 2016’s findings, looking at the selected basket, it’s clear that prices for OTC medical products stay pretty much in range across the board, though each store has its own highs and lows.
If you’re willing to shop around for the cheapest deal, you could effectively save R38 on the average basket selection below, simply by buying the right products at the right places.
The average basket price was R445.30, while the cheapest possible basket was R407.60.
Dischem and Clicks, specialising in pharmaceuticals, came out the cheapest overall, with the former beating out the latter in this basket. The two groups often matched on price, showing the fierce competition in the sector.
Among the broader retailers, Spar and Pick n Pay were fairly close on overall pricing, with Checkers’ MediRite coming in as the most expensive.
|Product||Dischem||Clicks Pharmacies||Checkers Medirite||PnP Dispensary||Pharmacy at Spar|
|Linctagon Lozenges (24s)||R46.95||R44.95||R59.99||R45.99||R45.99|
|Vicks Acta Plus (150ml)||R59.95||R61.95||R64.90||R67.99||R69.49|
|Citro Soda (60g)||R47.95||R47.95||R54.99||R48.99||R51.49|
|Elastoplast Fabric (10s)||R11.95||R11.95||R12.99||R11.99||R12.49|
|Panado (24 tablets)||R29.95||R27.45||R24.99||R17.99||R23.99|
|Vicks Vaporub (50g)||R41.95||R44.95||R41.95||R44.99||R47.49|
|Germolene Ointment (20g)||R34.95||R34.95||R38.99||R39.99||R38.99|
All prices were sourced in-store in shops around Centurion on 23 July 2017