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Health Minister inaugurates Medicine Price Committee

BY: Gertrude Ankah Nyavi
Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu (4th left), the Minister of Health, inaugurating the National Medicine Price Committee. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA
Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu (4th left), the Minister of Health, inaugurating the National Medicine Price Committee. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA

The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, has inaugurated the National Medicine Price Committee (NMPC) to oversee the pricing system of medicines and other health technologies in the country.

The 22-member committee, chaired by a Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Alexander Abban, is also to spearhead the economic impact of price adjustments on health outcomes and the local pharmaceutical industry.

Mr Agyemang-Manu, who inaugurated the committee in Accra last Wednesday, said members would also develop a pricing guide, taking into consideration a health technology assessment (HTA) to determine or recommend prices of medicines.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference for the NMPC include setting and publishing maximum sale prices for the public and private sectors for all essential medicines, including programme drugs, new and expensive single-source products, medicines under patent and other health technologies.

Mr Agyemang-Manu said the committee would also set up and implement a scheme of recommended price mark-ups for the public and private sectors and ensure adherence, so that prices of medicines and other health products would remain at optimal levels.

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The NMPC is further tasked to decouple the price of medicines from overheads based on price component analysis to inform pricing strategies within the healthcare system.

The Minister said the committee would also provide price buffering mechanisms to protect all stakeholders from undue exposure to price fluctuations and associated triggers of such fluctuations.

“This includes setting a forex exchange rate to trigger an agreed automatic adjustment of prices of all medicines by a certain percentage.

If exchange rate between the Ghana Cedi and the major trading currencies depreciates or appreciates up to 10 per cent or more, an automatic adjustment by same percentage should be applied to keep prices in tandem with exchange rate movements,” he added.

Committee

The chairman of the committee, Mr Abban, said the varied backgrounds of members offered them a unique diversity that would be harnessed to ensure that the government’s goal to achieve universal health coverage for all Ghanaians was obtained.

Other members of the committee are Nana Kwabena Adjei-Mensah, Dr Emmanuel Ankrah Odame, Dr Mrs Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, Mr Daniel Azubila, Mrs Joycelyn Azeez and Dr Mrs Angela Ackon.

Others are Mr Zaahid Yusif Doku, Mr Daniel Nuer, Dr Mrs Edith Annan, Mr Peter Gyasi Darkwa, Dr Daniel Ankrah, Mr Alex Ofori Mensah, Dr Francis Asenso-Boadi and Mr Gopal Rao.

The rest are Mr Kofi Addo Agyekum, Dr Augustina Koduah, Mr Philip Tagboto, Dr Charles Allotey, Dr Jacob Omari Appah, Mr Leslie Vanderpuij and Mrs Owusu Donkor.