The senior minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo has revealed that the government is taking concrete and pragmatic steps to reposition and vitalized the pharmaceutical sector through series of targeted policies, inventions and initiatives.
Speaking at the 2017 Annual General Conference of the Pharmaceutical society of Ghana at the Great Hall of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology under the theme ‘’Harnessing opportunities in Pharmacy for National Economic Development,’’ the senior minister stated that government is currently in talks with stakeholders to exempt the pharmaceutical industry from payment of VAT on its inputs for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.
According to the minister government is also talking to their colleagues within the ECOWAS to allow smooth transit of pharmaceutical products within the system. ‘’Now, if this is allowed then who produces the drugs is the one who has the advantage. So the countries in the ECOWAS are working to harmonise this free movement knowing that Ghana has advantage in the production of the pharmaceutical products,’’ he indicated.
He further hinted that ‘’To encourage local pharmaceutical companies expand, a ban has been put on fourteen (14) different products which local pharmaceutical companies have sufficient capacity to produce locally.’’
‘’I think that as part of the system, there should be a continuous collaboration between you the minister of health and the government to expand on this mess. As we develop the capacity, we add to it as a protective mechanism for our own,’’ he suggested.
Mr. Maafo on the other hand emphasized that tax exemptions are granted for certain categories of medicines and government must also be committed to pay health insurance claims on timely basis. ‘’I have a plead to make that a lot of fraud associated with handling of the NHIS, it is so embarrassing when you look at the sources of these fraud, and the relationship between pharmacists, patients, doctors in this claim is disturbing.
He concluded by appealing to the Pharmacy Society to help the National Insurance administration to devise a system of minimizing the fraud under procurement of drugs. ‘’The interventions we have promised will go a long way to assist the pharmacy as a whole.’’
‘’Government is interested in all the resolutions which will be passed after the end of this conference. We are going to make sure that pharmacy industry grows successfully,’’ he added.
Source: Alfred Kesse/focusfmonline.com