Pregnant women in the Volta Region who suffered from eclampsia were supplementing the cost of magnesium sulphate injection 50%, Divine Azameti, Head Pharmaceutical Services, Volta Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) had indicated.wpid-pregnant-woman.jpg

Eclampsia is said to be “a condition in which one or more convulsions occur in a pregnant woman suffering from high blood pressure often followed by coma imposing a threat to the health of mother and baby.”

Mr Azameti explained that the women have had to bear part of the cost of that injection because its market price of 2.50 Ghana cedis each was more than the 1.96 Ghana cedis which the National Health Insurance Scheme was paying.

He was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at a training session organized by the Volta Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority for managers of the drug supply chain in health facilities in the region.

He said except for paracetamol whose market price of 0.02 pesewas per tablet was the same as that approved by the NHIS, the Scheme was paying below the market prices for all other drugs on its list.

For example, the market price for Amoxycillin capsule 250 mg costs 0.075 pesewas each on the market, while the NHIS pays 0.07 Ghana pesewas each.

Folic Acid goes for 0.02 Ghana pesewas on the market above the NHIS’s 0.01 Ghana pesewas with Multivite Tablet at 0.02 Ghana pesewas on the market instead of 0.012 Ghana pesewas by the NHIS.

Mr Azameti said under the circumstances, clients of the NHIS have had to buy their medicines from private pharmacies and drug stores in the region.

He said clients of the NHIS, forming 90 percent of Out Patient Department Attendance in the region, were frequenting the health facilities at very short intervals with the same ailments.

Mr Azameti said this could mean that clients were buying medicines whose efficacy was suspicious, or they were not buying the medicines prescribed for them because of the cost involved, or not taking the right doses.

He urged authorities of the NHIS to pay realistic prices for drugs on its list to avoid having to pay more arising from frequent visits to health facilities by its clients.

Mr Azameti who spoke on “Supply Chain Management approaches towards Total Quality Management of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Consumables, ” advised the participants to strictly observe the quality control regime in the supply chain, to ensure that drugs dispensed to patients maintained their stability for efficacy.

He said though maintaining the medicine supply chain was costly, it was more costly in terms of disease burden and in monetary-wise if the supply chain was compromised.



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