Committee to review drug policy inaugurated

BY: Isaac Yeboah

A 16-member Technical Working Committee (TWC) to review Ghana’s 2004 National Drug Policy (NDP) has been inaugurated. The mandate of the TWC is to, among other things, come out with a new 10-year NDP.

The Director of Administration at the Ministry of Health, Mr John Appiah, launched the policy review process and also inaugurated the TWC on behalf of the sector minister, Ms Sherry Ayittey, in Accra yesterday.

According to him, the key objective of the policy review process was to take stock of developments in the health sector at the regional, national and international levels and their implications for the pharmaceutical sector in the country.

Mr Appiah explained that the advocacy framework for the new drug policy would indicate actions necessary for sustained awareness of the drug policy, as well as monitoring and evaluating the performance measurement matrix for the implementation of the new policy.

National drug policy

In a presentation on “Assessment of the Ghana National Drug Policy 2004-2013 and recommended policy directions for 2014-2020”, Ms Edith Andrews Annan of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Office, Ghana, said the most important achievement of the NDP had been the establishment of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

She said the key components of the next national medicine policy would include the rationalisation of public procurement by restricting decentralised procurement to regional stores and tertiary facilities and assisting them to do so efficiently.

The Director of the Ghana Medical Stores, Mr Samuel Boateng, on behalf of members of the TWC, pledged their commitment to work to the best of their abilities, since matters of medicine were paramount to achieving quality health care in the country.

Members of the TWC include representatives from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), the Human Resource Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Manufacturing Association of Ghana, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSG), the Pharmacy Council, the Procurement and Supply Unit of the MoH, the NHIS and WHO.

By Rebecca Quaicoe-Duho & Daniel Agbenyega/Daily Graphic/Ghana