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Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy Bares Teeth On NHIA

The committee members taking their oath of office

The Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy has called for the prompt payment of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) funds to service providers and other players at all levels of the pharmaceutical supply chain.

According to the chamber of pharmacy, Ghana it takes the NHIS close to eight months to refund pharmaceutical products used under the NHIS, a situation they claimed was crippling the pharmaceutical industry in the country.

“It takes ninety days to clear our pharmaceutical products from the ports and distribute them but we get reimbursed after almost eight months, when this happens, we end up borrowing from the banks to sustain the chain of our importation of pharmaceutical products,” Anthony Ameka, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy, said.

He was speaking at the outdooring of a five-year strategic plan of the chamber in Accra, themed: ‘Re-Engineering The Pharmaceutical Landscape For The Future’

Elaborating on the strategic plan for the chamber that seeks to promote, protect and advocate the collective interest of patients and members, Mr Anthony Ameka said the chamber of pharmacy, Ghana will be the unified voice that champions pharmaceutical excellence in Ghana.

He said the chamber of pharmacy will also work “to improve provision of pharmaceutical care through advocacy for separation of prescription and dispensing services in health facilities in Ghana as well as unify and strengthen relationship among key stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry.”

Mr Anthony Ameka, however, called for the establishment of the requisite support structures for Ghana to be a hub for local pharmaceutical manufacturing to cater for the needs of the West African sub-region and beyond.

Dr Nii Kotei Dzani, Group CEO OF Idea Finance, speaking as the special guest, indicated that the establishment of the chamber is timely as almost 90 percent of pharmaceutical products in the country are imported.

“We can increase this 10 percent of locally manufactured pharmaceutical products if we ensure high standards of pharmaceutical practice and improve the availability and affordability of quality and efficacious medicines,” he said.

He, thus, urged the chamber to uphold its core values of cooperation, respect, integrity, professionalism and transparency.

Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Benasco of Accra High Court swore in the newly-elected executives and committee members at the event.

written by Samuel Kwame Boadu