The Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy (GNCoP) has asked the government to rethink its decision to eliminate the benchmark price for pharmaceutical items.
According to a press statement issued by the chamber’s Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Ameka, the elimination of the benchmark value on pharmaceutical items would result in an increase in the prices of medical supplies and medications.
This, according to the GNCoP, will have a cascading effect on the high cost of healthcare delivery.
“The local manufacturing industry meets 30% of the country’s medication needs, with 70% of pharmaceuticals imported.”
The elimination of the benchmark for pharmaceutical items would result in higher pricing for medications and other medical supplies.
“The impact will result in high-priced healthcare delivery, with attendant cost consequences on the NHIS medications bill,” according to the statement. According to the statement, “the state loses on the elimination of the benchmark and the rise in the final retail price it pays for medications under the NHIA.” Currently, the state is benefiting from the benchmarking strategy and is able to pay health-care providers through NHIA.
This condition improves the cash cycle of the private sector (importers), allowing them to integrate backward more quickly and grow their operations, leading in employment creation for the state.”
The abolition of the 50 percent Benchmark Values on 32 categories of commodities at the ports took effect on Monday, November 15.
The Ghana Income Authority (GRA) indicated in a letter to Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta, written by the Commissioner-General, Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, that the decision is influenced by an agreement struck with the business community to produce additional revenue.
This implies that all goods in the 32 categories that are now eligible for port clearing discounts will no longer be eligible.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Union of Traders Association warned the government against repealing the 50 percent Benchmark Value regulation at ports.
The withdrawal, according to the union, is “suicidal” to Ghanaian enterprises.