Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said that the newly-launched National Electronic Pharmacy Platform (NEPP) will enable over 30 million Ghanaians to have access to prescribed medicines in a more convenient, cost-effective and quality assured manner.
He explained that most often, people are faced with the difficulty of driving quite a distance just to find cost-efficient and reliable pharmacies to purchase medications.
With the emergence of the ePharmacy, this trouble is going to be done away with, he said.
Dr Bawumia said these when he launched the National Electronic Pharmacy Platform (NEPP) in Accra on Monday July 18.
“I recall with fondness that in 2019, in line with the government’s digitalization drive, I challenged the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana to take steps in ensuring that Pharmacy services are digitized to ensure prudent regulation of the services provided in the dispensing of medications and other services,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“Today’s event is historic for the reason that, for the first time in our nation, we are going to deploy a National Electronic Pharmacy Platform which will enable over 30 million Ghanaians to have access to prescribed medicines in a more convenient, cost-effective and quality assured manner, scaling over counterfeit and inferior medicines,” he added.
The operationalization of the ePharmacy platform is such that every drug request entered into the system, is controlled by a team of professionals and registered pharmacists, who, based on the legality and availability of the drug, dispense the medication to the patient in a trust-worthy manner.
This, Dr. Bawumia noted, will not only make drugs easily accessible and promote competitive pricing, it will also help reduce the sale of illegal drugs.
“Most often, people are faced with the difficulty of driving quite a distance just to find cost-efficient and reliable pharmacies to purchase medications. The situation most times has led to Pharmacy operators preying on the vulnerability of patients to inflate prices or offer fake substitutes for the medication sought,” the Vice President noted.
“Buying online is easy and convenient. But if you consider buying medicines online, you need to be cautious. Unfortunately, many online shops and Internet platforms sell medicines illegally. If you buy illegal medicines physically or online, at best you risk spending money on something that might have no effect, at worst the medicine has serious side effects or puts your life at risk and may result in even death.”
“The introduction of the National ePharmacy Platform for short NEPP is meant to safely and securely make available medicines, reduce the burden of cost and save time.”
“I am particularly impressed that for medication safety, this has been connected to the Food and Drugs Authority database making it easy to authenticate those medicines being sold online are approved for sale in Ghana.”
“The easy access of narcotic and dangerous medicines will be greatly reduced through the effective control of these types of medicines through NEPP.
“This, I believe will among other things address four key concerns in the provision of pharmacy services; reduction in the sale of unlicensed medicines, ensuring confidentiality of health information, privacy of patients’ medical records, and minimizing counterfeit and sub-standard medication in the country.”
Dr Bawumia further challenged the Pharmacy Council to go digital in 2019 and also support the implementation of the NEPP through his office.