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Health News of Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Source: GNA

NHIA reviews medicines list

Accra, Oct. 6, GNA - The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) on Tuesday said it had revised the medicine list of the National Health Insurance Scheme with effect from October 1. The Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs) are also under review and new medicines that are more efficacious would be introduced after the review, Executive Secretary of NHIA, Mr. Sylvester Mensah said at a press conference in Accra.

A national survey on prices was undertaken using the methodology of the World Health Organisation and Health Action International collecting data from manufacturers, wholesale distributors, private pharmacies, government, mission, and private health facilities located in all the 10 regions, he said.

This revision, he said was done in accordance with the Legislative Instrument 1809, which mandated the NHIA to review the medicine list in consultation with stakeholders and added that prices of the drugs had been agreed upon by the NHIS and major stakeholders. The medicines on the list were described in their generic or international non propriety names and include the dosage form and strength; and should be prescribed by their names, the Executive Secretary said.

It was important that all NHIS prescriptions be written on approved prescriptions form and approved format, he noted and said that only medicines on the NHIS Medicines list shall be re-imbursed Mr. Mensah said medical practitioners, dentists, midwives, medical assistants and nurses in special fields and working in accredited facility were authorised to prescribe medicines and that all prescriptions should be in conformity with Ghanaian laws including the Pharmacy Act 1994 (Act 489), the Medical and Dental Council Decree 1972 (NRCD 91) and the Midwives Decree 1972 (NRCD 117).

He emphasised that medications for free public health services that were exempted from payment of fees such as childhood immunisations, family planning, in- patient and out-patient treatment of mental illness, treatment of Onchocerciasis, Buruli Ulcer and Trachoma; and confirmatory HIV test on AIDS were not on the list. Dispensing of all prescriptions under the scheme must be carried out by a pharmacist or under the direct supervision of a pharmacist to intervene when necessary, the NHIA Executive Secretary said. 6 Oct 09