Lost your medication leaflet? Don’t stress, you can now view it online

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • SA's health regulator has launched an online OTC Medicines Directory.
  • It enables consumers and healthcare professionals to find information on registered Schedule 0, 1 and 2 medicines.
  • Most leaflets are text-heavy with no visuals, but the online information is easier to digest.  

If you’ve lost a medication leaflet, no need to panic, you can now access the information online via the South African Health Products Authority’s (Sahpra) website.

The Over the Counter (OTC) Online Medicines’ Directory was launched by the health regulator on Thursday and is available to all South African consumers and healthcare professionals. 

This directory is the first of its kind in the world, said Nicola Brink, CEO of the Self-Care Association of South Africa. 

“Half the time, [these pamphlets] get lost, or they’re just too small to read, and now with digital tools being so broadly available and easily accessible wherever you are, we are trying to ensure that we can provide quick access to credible information around these medicines,” said Dr Boitumelo Semete, CEO of Sahpra.

She continued: “We had a lot of misinformation taking place during Covid, and what we are launching today really is a first step to addressing that … saying we must have accessible, quality information on these health products available to the public,” and added that the directory was not intended to pitch one product against another.

Which meds are on the site?

The Directory will include all OTC Schedule 0, 1 and 2 registered Sahpra-approved medicines which are all available for purchase from a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. 

Schedule 0 medications that are indicated for self-treatable conditions, such as Panado, may be purchased at pharmacies, supermarkets, garage forecourts, spaza shops and convenience stores. 

On the mobile-friendly website, you can search for all Sahpra-registered OTC medicines by simply typing in the name of the medication. All the information about the product will pop up. See the images below:

medicines directory
To find a medicine by name, simply type it in the search bar.
medicine directory
After clicking on a particular medicine, all the information, as well as an image, will appear.

The regulator has also made available a PDF version of the products' information and patient information leaflets, which can be downloaded.

If you forgot the product's name, you can search the product manufacturer, scroll down their product listings, and find what you’re looking for.

Depending on how extensively the site is used, Sahpra will eventually look to include prescription medication, medical devices, and in vitro diagnostic products (IVDs) information on the site. Veterinary products will also appear on the directory if they are registered with Sahpra, said Portia Nkambule, chief regulatory officer of Sahpra. 

Consumers and healthcare professionals can access the site by visiting medsinfo.sahpra.org.za

READ | Covid-19: The first study to look at whether fake news actually changes people’s behaviour

READ | App allows users to report adverse effects from medicines, including Covid-19 vaccines

READ | Research dispels myth that Covid-19 vaccines cause infertility, but misinformation persists

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.