In December 2015, the South African government released the much anticipated White paper on the planned National Health Insurance (NHI) (Department of Health, 2015) raising more questions ("NHI White Paper", 2016) amongst stakeholders. Frost and Sullivan (2011) have suggested that the planned cost containment of the NHI will benefit generic companies whilst research and development (R&D) companies, the biggest upstream providers in the private healthcare sector in South Africa, might consider pulling out of the country. In order to ensure long-term sustainable growth within the new NHI landscape, R&D pharmaceutical companies will have to align their strategic approach to meet several stakeholder demands in this changing environment. Therefore, this study's primary objective was to investigate the behavioural tactics of R&D pharmaceutical companies in response to the NHI, viewed from their perspectives as the change recipients.
An in-depth exploratory qualitative research design was employed as the researcher was concerned not only with how these pharmaceutical companies are preparing for the NHI, but also with the rationale underpinning those selected change tactics employed by R&D pharmaceutical companies. A total of five, highly experienced senior executives, representing leading R&D pharmaceutical companies, were interviewed.
Findings from this research revealed several important themes, from the need for diversified pharmaceutical portfolios in order to address the country's disease burden, to improved market access and public-private partnerships to overcome current challenges. However, throughout this research project, the importance of extensive stakeholder engagement, particularly from the government, was identified as both a barrier and enabler to the successful implementation of the NHI.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.