The Ministry of Health(MoH) has launched the 1st National Pricing Strategy for Pharmaceutical and other Health Technologies to help optimise medicine prices in Ghana. The pricing strategy aims to achieve optimised pricing that sustains the public health interest and a vibrant private sector.
The Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari said that sustainable access to medicines and other health technologies are an important agenda for the Ministry in its quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage. To that, the Ministry introduced the 3rd edition of Ghana’s National Medicine Policy (NMP) in 2017, which recommended several policy interventions to help optimise medicine prices, within the context of the large economy, for the benefit of the patient, the health insurance scheme, private sector players and businesses as well as the health system at large.
He added that access to medicines is compromised when the prices of medicines are high. These high prices introduce a financial barrier to access, especially for the poor and vulnerable in society.
“I must say that the Ministry of Health has already established mechanisms to implement some of these strategies”, he said, and called on all stakeholders to work together to address the challenges affecting medicine pricing. Dr. Francis Kasolo, the WHO Country Representative said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that one-third of the world’s population do not have access to essential medicines due to the non-availability of medicines and high medicine prices. He also stated that strong, carefully-planned and well-thought-out policies and strategies can guide well-informed and balanced decisions to achieve affordable access to health products”.
A representative of the Ghana National Chamber of Pharma K. Addo Agyekum affirmed that the strategy is interested in the sustainability of the private sector in assuring medicines availability and supply and the sustainability of the NHIS to play its role effectively and efficiently. The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Kofi Kapito, who is a Consumer Advocate, in his remarks, expressed his excitement about the implementation and care components of the pricing strategy that has been commissioned for the sake of consumers. He commended the Government and the Private sector for the bold initiative.