Ghanaians said to be buying drugs at 19 times manufacturers’ price

Medicines Transparency Alliance Ghana (MeTA) has called for a pricing policy for the various stages of the pharmaceutical supply chain to help make drugs more affordable.

Additionally, there should be more transparency in wholesale pricing to allow for proper analysis of the “wholesale contributions along the supply chain.”

This, it said, were necessary to address the situation where patients buy drugs 19 times the manufacturers’ selling price.

Mr Charles Allotey, who headed a team that researched into the country’s medicine price components, described the huge price variations as unacceptable.

He was presenting the findings of the study they conducted in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Upper East Regions at the maiden forum of MeTA held in Kumasi.

This was in fulfilment of its goal of providing the means for assessing prices, availability and quality to inform and provide regular support for programme and management activities of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and other stakeholders.

The Department for International Development (DFID), World Health Organization, World Bank, Health Action International and Transparency International assisted the study.

Mr Allotey, who is also the Director Health Access Network, said they identified inconsistent relationships between the manufacturers’ component of the final patient price and those of the wholesalers and retailers that needed to be addressed.

The variations, he said, basically were the direct result of variations in “wholesale and retail mark ups.”

Mr Allotey attributed this to import duties, Value Added Tax, National Health Insurance Levy and ECOWAS levy on items imported to the cost of registering drugs.

He said changes in the prices of the same drugs were also affected by the location of the facility, the sectors, whether private, public or mission health facilities.

Source: GNA

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