A new national medicine policy is to be introduced soon into Ghana to actualize the commitment of the government of Ghana towards the goal of ensuring universal access to affordable essential medicines of assured quality for all persons living in the country.
The policy which is currently in its draft stage was reviewed by stakeholders at a day’s meeting in the capital, Accra.
The National medicine policy document which provides direction to the pharmaceutical sector in the country was first revised in 1999 while the last review was done in 2013.
Critical areas of the policy that came up for discussion included policy on procurement, pricing, rational use of medicines and strengthening of the Food and Drugs Authority among others.
Speaking at the opening session of the meeting, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt said inputs from stakeholders will be considered by a technical working group tasked to revise the old policy.
She said the Health Ministry, the National development Planning commission as well as the parliamentary select committee on health will be consulted to finalize the policy for cabinet endorsement and implementation.
The director for policy planning, monitoring and evaluation at the ministry of health, Dr. Afisah Zakariah also stated that her outfit had identified several challenges in the production of efficacious drugs in the country and had factored them into the draft policy.
On regulation of traditional medicines, she pointed out that the health ministry had strengthened a separate directorate that looks at promoting traditional medicine and ensuring that they are safe and efficacious.
She added that the ministry was also looking at resourcing the local pharmaceutical industry to produce drugs that meet international standards to enable them to market such drugs outside the country.