The Minister of Health, Ms. Sherry Ayitey has approved the revised National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Medicines List effective August 1, 2013.
Regular review of the list is necessary to ensure that prices of medicines on the NHIS list reflect market trends. Key NHIS stakeholders were involved in the revision process and the determination of prices and also contributed to all processes to the finalization of the document.
Medicines prescribed to subscribers at NHIS-accredited health facilities are derived from this list which is based on the broad Ghana Essential Medicines List of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and covers the benefit package of the NHIS.
Director of Planning, Research and Development at the National Health Insurance Authourity (NHIA), O.B. Acheampong said, “The revised NHIS Medicines List contains five hundred and forty eight (548) formulations of medicines.” He added that “three (3) medicines not in the previous list have been added to the new list and seven (7) medicines have been deleted.”
Artesunate injection 60mg, one of the three additions, was added as per the recommendation of the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP). Changes were also made to the unit of pricing of some of the medicines, in line with stakeholder recommendations, with the aim of synchronizing all medicines on the list with the actual situation in the pharmaceutical sector in Ghana.
The other two inclusions are medicines that already existed but have different strengths added now, these are Human Immune Tetanus Globulins Injection, 500 IU/mL and Benzyl Benzoate Lotion, 25 per cent.
According to Acheampong, the additions reflect current treatment protocols, provide treatment options and ease the dispensing process, whilst the deletions are as a result of the discontinuation or de-emphasis of the use of the medicines in question based on available clinical
The NHIA is especially grateful to all survey respondents in both the public and private sectors who provided pricing data for the review, stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry, and members of the Medicines List Technical Committee for the key roles they played in the review.
The NHIA also thanks its esteemed healthcare providers for their understanding during the period of the review.