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NHIS Gets 30% Off Medicine Prices

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The Minister for Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has announced a 30 per cent drop in prices for all medicines under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

This decision follows acceptance of the Committee set up by the Ministry of Health to explore the public policy of the Valued Added Tax (VAT) Exemptions on all medicines listed in the Essential Medicines List 2017, the minister revealed.

Mr Agyeman-Manu made the announcement at the launch of the National Medicines Policy and Five-Year Implementation Plan for Ghana held in Accra, last Friday.

The deduction according to him is aimed at reducing the burden of reimbursements on the NHIS.

“I must say that some of the prices have been dropped more than 80 per cent”, he revealed

The minister said the prices of pharmaceuticals remained a big challenge to the country, and therefore the government in fulfilment to its manifesto promise, removed the Valued Added Tax (VAT) on all medicines listed in the Essential Medicines List 2017 in addition to pharmaceutical imputes.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said the VAT exemptions came into force on November 3, 2017, and this action, the government believed should lead to reduction in prices since VAT formed about 40 per cent of the total taxes on pharmaceuticals.

The minister appreciated the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana (PMAG), the Chamber of Pharmacy, and all the other stakeholders for their support and hard work.

“We are here because you believe in the process and that our road to Universal Health Coverage is to sustain our national health insurance scheme so that no one is left behind”, he said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Owen Laws Kaluwa reiterated the organisation’s the commitment to support the implementation of the Policy in order to ensure access to essential medicines, and steps that would help Ghana achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through Universal Health Coverage.

He therefore called for strengthened stakeholder partnership in the implementation process of the National Medicines Policy, and not to allow the document to gather dust on the selves as others had suffered.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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