Medicine Price Registry
Retail medicine prices are regulated in South Africa through the Single Exit Price Mechanism. These prices are published on a regular basis at http://www.mpr.gov.za. The information is only available in a large and unwieldy excel spreadsheet making it inaccessible to casual users.
This projects builds an API and basic user interface to query this database. You can find a running instance at http://mpr.code4sa.org.
A typical use-case would be for a consumer to look for alternative products for a particular medicine, often generic medicines can be much cheaper than the branded product. Another use-case allows consumers to ensure that they are not being overcharged for their medicines. This database publishes the maximum price at which a medicine can be sold. A pharmacy cannot legally increase the price of a particular medicine above the price listed here.
In addition to providing this simple web interface, we make available a rudimentary API that you can use to access the most up-to-date prices to be used in third party applications.
Basic search e.g. https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/v2/search-lite?q=lamictin
A more comprehensive search that makes available additional fields https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/v2/search?q=lamictin
Accessing product details https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/v2/detail?nappi=703312001
Finding generic products (based in active ingredients) https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/v2/related?nappi=703312001
Downloading a dump of the entire database https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/v2/dump
Get the last updated date https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/v2/last-updated
This version of the API used database IDs to lookup medicines. The result was that urls that included the IDs didn't resolve to the same medicines when the database updated.
Basic search e.g. https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/search-lite?q=lamictin
A more comprehensive search that makes available additional fields https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/search?q=lamictin
Accessing product details https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/detail?product=3841
Finding generic products (based in active ingredients) https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/related?product=3841
Downloading a dump of the entire database https://mpr.code4sa.org/api/dump
To work on this project locally, you'll need the following:
- yuglify (sudo npm install -g yuglify)
- virtualenv (optional)
Setting up your environment (if you're using virtualenv - which you should be):
git clone https://github.com/Code4SA/medicine-price-registry.git cd medicine-price-registry virtualenv $VIRTUALENV_HOME/mpr # (i.e. put it wherever you usually put your virtual environments) source $VIRTUALENV_HOME/mpr/bin/active # (or if you're using virtualenvwrapper you can mkvirtualenv mpr; workon mpr) pip install -r requirements.txt python manage.py runserver
This app is hosted on dokku or Heroku.
To deploy to an existing dokku (or heroku) server:
git remote add dokku firstname.lastname@example.org:mpr
git push dokku
To deploy to a new heroku instance:
heroku apps:create APP-NAME
heroku config:set DJANGO_DEBUG=false DJANGO_SECRET_KEY=some-secret-key
git push heroku
- Allow for searching of related products
- Create a script that downloads the latest database instead of shipping a sqlite db with the repo
- It might be useful to compare prices over time
- Seems like there are some spelling errors in the database - e.g. paracetamol and paracetemol. Might need to clean the database through some sort of fuzzy match and possibly report those errors back to mpr
- Adi Eyal - @soapsudtycoon
- Shaun O'Connell - @ndorfin