Question NW2833 to the Minister of Health

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15 December 2020 - NW2833

Profile picture: Moteka, Mr PG

Moteka, Mr PG to ask the Minister of Health

What programme does his department have in place to assist persons living with albinism to access skin treatment medication?


The Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs) and Essential Medicines List (EML), are the foundation of appropriate medicine use in South Africa. Review of medicines by the National Essential Medicines List Committee (NEMLC) for inclusion on the Essential Medicine List (EML) is based on priority conditions in the country and takes into consideration the clinical need, evidence of efficacy, quality, safety, affordability and implications for practice.

The current edition (2018) of the Primary Health Care STGs and EML includes a Guideline for albinism and recommends the use of sunscreens with a high sun protection factor (SPF) of between 20 and 230 for adequate protection. Sunscreen is therefore on the Essential Medicines List and can be accessed at all levels of care. Sunscreen products can be purchased by provinces off the current National Contract (HP08-20120SSP).

Monitoring of the availability of essential medicines at a national level, including sunscreen for use in albinism, is done through the Affordable Medicines Directorate’s (AMD) National Surveillance Centre (NSC).

The review of the EML is dynamic and ongoing, with disorders/medicines being reviewed continuously based on factors such as the changing clinical need, change in clinical evidence, price of medicines etc. Hence any additional requirements for the management of albinism is considered on an ongoing basis as the clinical need arises.


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