Expedite review of NHIS medicines list – Pharmacists appeal to NHIA

The Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) has called for a quick review of the prices of National Health Insurance Medicine Lists.

In a statement, the association said the current prices were outdated given the depreciation of the cedi and the high inflationary rate.

The Executive Secretary of the West Africa Manufacturers association, for example, has said there could be a 1,000 percent increase in the price of pharmaceuticals because of the deprecation of the cedi, among others.

The Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association, and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana recently said they have resorted to the cash-and-carry system following the high cost of production.

The cedi has fallen by over 50 percent to the dollar in 2022.

“A lot of the medicines on the NHIS Medicines List are lagging by an average of 100% of current market prices,” the statement said.

“For example, a tablet of Paracetamol, which used to cost 0.05 Ghana Cedis, is now 0.21 GHS on the market, whilst the NHIS price is currently set at 0.09 GHS.”

The association also urged the NHIA “to depart from the usual practice of waiting for 1-year or more before
updating the NHIS Medicines List.”

It said the last review was in March 2021.

“We are not living in normal times and, therefore, the Authority must act as such,” the association stressed.