The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has asked government to immediately step in and reverse the threat by pharmaceutical groups to resort to cash and carry in the supply of medicines and other health commodities.
It said the threat posed dire consequences to the entire health sector and could possibly grind it to a halt.
President of the PSGH, Samuel Kow Donkoh, in statement issued in Accra yesterday thus called on the Ministry of Finance to as a matter of urgency find credit facilities to support the sector and ensure availability of medicines.
“The Ministry of Finance and Bank of Ghana must urgently work with the Ghana Association of Banks to prioritise the pharmaceutical sector and support them with forex solutions and loans at preferential rates to ensure the availability of medicines,” it recommended.
The President further urged the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to reimburse NHIS service providers to enable them make outstanding payments due suppliers.
He said the PSGH would be convening a meeting with all relevant stakeholders in the sector to find means of supporting the sector in the interim.
Three pharmaceutical groups; the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana (PMAG) and the Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association of Ghana (PIWA), last Wednesday threatened to stop the supply of drugs and medications to all health facilities across the country and the NHIA on credit basis with immediate effect.
It said supplies would be on cash and carry basis until the country comes out of its turbulent economic condition asking government, to release, as a matter of urgency, all outstanding debts owed their members to prevent the shortage of products in the country.
The President of PIWA, William Adum Addo, lamented the present economic situation, which had led to high cost of operations and importation of drugs forcing the associations to take the action in order to keep their businesses afloat and settle their indebtedness to financial institutions.
The action by pharmaceutical players comes at a time Ghana is facing economic serious recession promoting an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bail out.
The bailout had become necessary following rise in inflation from 13.9 per cent in January to 37.2 per cent in September this year, with the cedi depreciating GH¢ 1.00 to 13 USD, prices of goods have shot up astronomically in the country.
Petrol and diesel prices continue to gallop as most public transport fares have increased by over 100 per cent since January, likewise, utility tariffs.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH