Pharmacists told not to cheat National Health Insurance

Pharmacists have been urged not to cheat by inflating the prices of drugs supplied under the National Health Scheme (NHIS).

Mrs Martha Gyansa-Lutterodtt, Head of the Ghana National Drugs Programme, said this was necessary to save the scheme from collapse.

She made reference to research findings of Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA), Ghana, a Civil Society Organization, which showed that some of them sell drugs at a price as high as about 19 times of that of the manufacturers’ rate and said this was completely unacceptable.

Mrs Gyansa-Lutterodt was addressing the maiden technical stakeholders’ forum, held at the Golden Tulip, in Kumasi, to discuss a pilot study on the drugs supply-chain sponsored by Department for International Department (IfID), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, Health Action International (HAI) and Transparency International in seven countries including Ghana.

She spoke on “Information Sharing in the Pharmaceutical Sector,” and said there was the need for the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to negotiate the prices with drug suppliers.

They should, therefore, end the reliance on the median system for determining prices of the drugs.

She also appealed to the health facilities to do everything to make drugs affordable.

Professor David Ofori-Adjei, co-Chairman of MeTA, said their goal was to promote greater transparency and accountability, regarding policies, practices and outcomes on access to medicines.

He said they had initiated the process to make information on quality, availability, pricing and use of medicines available to stakeholders in both public and private sectors.

“The aim is to support national efforts to enhance transparency in the selection, regulation, registration, procurement, distribution, sales and national use of medicines in Ghana,” he added.

Source: GNA

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