Bring down high profit margins on drugs – Health Minister

Ms Sherry Ayittey - Health Minister
Ms Sherry Ayittey – Health Minister

The Health Minister, Ms. Hanny Sherry Ayittey has complained about the high profit margins on drugs and is demanding that this is brought down.

She said there should not only be an improvement in drug price variation across facilities in urban and rural areas but effective enforcement of existing regulations regarding price margins in both the public and private sectors.

The Minister also underlined the need for even distribution of the pharmaceuticals retail business to help throw out fake drug dealers exploiting the rural population.

Speaking at the national launch of the maiden world pharmacists’ day at Anglican Health Centre at Tanodumase in the Atwima-Mponua District, she urged the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) to do everything to enhance essential drugs accessibility.

“Pharmacists – simplifying your medicines use, no matter how complex” was the theme chosen for the event put together by the Society and the Kumasi Anglican Diocese.

It was meant to put the spotlight on pharmacists and their role in quality health care delivery.

Ms Ayittey said it was important that the Society assisted “to improve access to medicines, improve supply management systems, increase assurance and promote rational use of drugs”.

She expressed worry about the situation where many people still lacked access to essential medicines they needed and said this was compounding the disease burden.

“It is a matter of concern that even when medicines are available their quality is suspect due to weak nature of regulation and widespread non-compliance with international practice.’

She pledged her ministry’s resolve to continue to make policies that would aid simplifying medicines use and provide support to mission health facilities.

Mr. James Ohemeng Kyei, President of the PSGH, encouraged his colleague pharmacists to devise appropriate strategies to simplify medicines use to optimize quality care for patients.

The Most Reverend Dr. Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, Anglican Archbishop of the Internal Province of Ghana, described as disturbing strike actions involving health professionals and pleaded for speedy resolution of labour grievances in the health sector.

He announced plans by the church to up-grade the Tanodumase Health Centre, which serves people in over 42 communities to a fully fledged hospital.

He appealed to the Minister to help post a resident doctor to the facility.

The PSGH used the occasion to stock the Centre with assorted medicines valued.

Source: GNA

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