The Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana (COPG) and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana (PMAG) have threatened to withdraw supplies to the regional medical stores and the health facilities funded by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) if they fail to honour their indebtedness to members of the two bodies.
According to the two groups, the public health facilities owed their members 12 months of pharmaceutical supplies.
They have, therefore, entreated the Ministry of Health to, “as a matter of urgency, ensure all the money owed the pharmaceutical companies is paid with immediate effect”.
A letter to that effect, signed by the Chairman of the COPG, Mr Harrison K. Abutiate, said failure to honour the indebtedness to the pharmacy industry players could force them to “initiate supplies to the service providers in question, based on bank guarantees or cash-and-carry as a mode of payment in their quest to ensure continuous service delivery, as well as avoid the collapse of their companies which are already distressed”.
“In the absence of the above, both entities will have no other option than to stop supplies on credit to all NHIA-funded health facilities, effective July 1, 2020,” it said.
It further urged the government, the Ministry of Health, the NHIA, all service providers and stakeholders to treat the issue with the utmost urgency to prevent any imminent action that would affect the medicine supply chain adversely.
The letter addressed to the Minister of Health, added that various clients of the pharmaceutical companies were all party to “framework contracts” that had shaped their relationship, including the reimbursement system.
The two pharmaceutical bodies expressed frustration over their inability to track payments between the NHIA and various service providers, which had aided the delays in paying the pharmaceutical service providers.
“For the sake of transparency, we urge the Minister of Health to ensure that payments made by the NHIA to all health insurance service providers are published on a real-time basis,” the letter, which was also copied to the Christian Health Association of Ghana, the Society for Private Medical and Dental Practitioners, the Ghana Midwives and Nurses Association of Ghana and teaching hospitals, further stated.