Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, announced that
effective July 1, 2018, all medicine prices under the National Health
Insurance Scheme (NHIS), would be dropped by an average of 30 per
cent. The Health Minister said the decision followed the 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, in addition to
pharmaceutical imputes, to reduce the burden of reimbursements on the
NHIS. “I must say that some of the prices have been dropped more than
80 per cent”, he said. Mr Agyeman-Manu who made the announcement at
the launch of the National Medicines Policy and Five-Year
Implementation Plan for Ghana in Accra, expressed his gratitude to 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. The Health
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. Dr Owen Laws Kaluwa,
The WHO Country Representative, 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
other had suffered. He pledged the WHO’s sustained commitment to
support the implementation of the Policy in order to ensure access to
essential medicines, and further help Ghana to achieve the Sustainable
Development Goals through Universal Health Coverage.

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