A two-day forum to review the prices of medicines on the NHIS Medicines List has ended in Accra.
The annually convened stakeholder forum reviews and adjusts prices of medicines the NHIA pays to its service providers.
The review is to ensure that prices the NHIA pays for medicines on the NHIS Medicines List reflect market and economic realities.
Medicines constitute a big part of NHIA’s expenditure with almost 50% of its total claims spending going into medicines for the 2015 year. It has been argued that an efficient medicine supply chain would translate to cost savings for the NHIS.
Director of Pharmaceutical Services at the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Martha Lutterodt, who chaired the forum on behalf of the Health Minister at last Wednesday’s programme, announced that as part of the drug procurement processes, the Ministry is adopting the framework contracting model to bolster efficiency in the country’s procurement of medicines which will subsequently help drive down prices.
She underscored the importance of the event as an annual statutory requirement that sought to create a platform for dialogue on the prices of medicines in order to determine realistic prices for medicines as this has a direct correlation with the sustainability of the NHIS.
“The NHIS is a national asset and belongs to all of us therefore we must ensure that the prices they pay for medicines are realistic as it impacts directly on the sustainability of the scheme. The scheme remains vital to families in both urban and rural areas and must be safeguarded” she said.
The Director of Provider Payment at the NHIA, Anthony Gingong, in his remarks emphasized how the NHIA valued the cordial relationship it has with its stakeholders and the need for regular and timely review of medicines on the NHIS and their prices.
Acknowledging the contributions of stakeholders in the Medicines List review process, Mr. Gingong stressed the NHIA’s commitment to continue working with the stakeholders in the pharmaceutical supply chain to ensure quality medicines are accessible and affordable to the Scheme.
A technical committee has been constituted to finalize the document, taking note of all suggestions made at the stakeholder meeting after which a report will be presented to the NHIA Management for onward delivery to the Minister of Health for approval.
The NHIS has 517 different formulations of medicines on its list for all conditions covered under the Scheme’s benefit package.
The Stakeholder meeting brought together representatives from the Ministry of Health, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Ghana National Drugs Program, Ghana Medical Association, Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners, Food and Drugs Authority, Chamber of Pharmacy and a host of other agencies.