31 October 2006

Release Date: 2006/10/31

Cape Town – New Clicks has welcomed the pharmacy dispensing fee regulations announced by the Department of Health today, saying the new four-tiered pricing structure will bring much-needed stability to retail pharmacists and clarity to consumers.

New Clicks chief executive, David Kneale, said the collaborative process followed by the Department of Health (DoH) has resulted in a workable and transparent pricing model that provides a fair return to pharmacists and certainly benefits consumers. “It is now critical that we have stability in the pharmacy sector which has been operating in an environment of uncertainty for far too long. This has negatively affected the pharmacy profession which is crucial to the delivery of healthcare in this country.”

New Clicks subsidiary Clicks operates the largest retail pharmacy network in the country, with 110 dispensaries in its stores nationally.

Michael Harvey, managing director of Clicks, said “we have always supported the Government’s move to make medicine more affordable and accessible to consumers, and improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery.”

“New Clicks has had valuable interaction with the DoH on this issue and we believe the new dispensing fee balances low and high cost medication.”

He said the new regulations prescribe a maximum dispensing fee and “this allows Clicks the flexibility to be even more price competitive. In addition, we will continue to offer value-added benefits to customers such as our Clicks ClubCard loyalty programme.”

Clicks will be implementing the new dispensing fee structure within the timeframe outlined by the DoH and as soon as systems can be adapted.

“The uncertainty of the past 18 months has not been good for consumers. Clicks adopted the R26/26% dispensing fee contained in the draft pricing regulations, without levying any additional administrative fees. However, many pharmacists appear to have charged far higher fees to the detriment of consumers,” he said.

Issued by Tier 1 Investor Relations on behalf of the Clicks Group
For further information kindly contact
Graeme Lillie, Tier 1 Investor Relations 021 702 3102 / 082 468 1507

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