Pharm. Samuel Kow Donkoh
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) wants the government to prioritize the pharmaceutical sector as it works towards reversing the current economic downturn.
According to the PSGH, it is important for the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Ghana to urgently work with the Ghana Association of Banks to support the sector with forex solutions and loans at preferential rates to ensure the availability of medicines to Ghanaians.
The PSGH in a release signed by its President, Pharm. Samuel Kow Donkoh, also called on the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to reimburse NHIS Service Providers to enable them make outstanding payments due suppliers.
The calls follow a recent joint press conference by the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy (GNCoP), Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana (PMAG) and Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association (PIWA) on the effect of the poor performance of the Cedi against the Dollar on the international market.
The professional body of pharmacists raised concerns over the negative impact the unfortunate economic downturn would have on the health of patients which is no fault of players of pharmaceutical sector.
It said the current situation has reduced the import and manufacturing capital of companies thereby raising a big issue of security of medicines in the country.
“There is the risk of medicines availability, lack of access to medications, increase in price of medicines, potential compromise of quality of medications and the potential increase in fake and substandard medications. There is the risk of drop in the offering of services by NHIS Service providers,” it added.
The Society further indicated that the country risks of shortages and unavailability of pharmaceuticals which could impact on the progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
“To the Community Pharmacists, the cost of replacement of stocks is a major issue as they need recapitalization to maintain their dwindling stocks.
Hospitals would be faced with shortages of medicines as they are dependent on credit from suppliers. This will impact on emergency medicines, anesthetics as well as life- saving medicines,” it added.
It therefore reiterated its earlier calls to ensure health commodities securitisation especially medicines for Ghanaians.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri