Why Ghana needs E-Pharmacy programme at this time

The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched the policy and guidelines for the e-Pharmacy programme.

This forms as part of government’s ongoing efforts to improve access to and delivery of health care to Ghanaians.

When fully operational in 2022, the e-Pharmacy programme is expected to transform access to pharmaceutical care in the country.

It is expected also to make Ghana one of a handful of countries with a national scale e-pharmacy in the world.

Speaking in Accra on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 Vice President Bawumia recalled that a few years ago, he challenged Pharmacists to explore greater ways of infusing technology into their operations.

The challenge, he said, has since been taken up by the stakeholders, leading to the creation of the policy and guidelines for the national e-pharmacy.

“Today, we are here to launch a top-tier innovation that will transform access to pharmaceutical care in Ghana, complementing the government’s attempt to improve access to and delivery of health care to our more than 30 million population,” he stated.

It is disheartening to see people spend so much time moving from one pharmacy to the other in search of medication.

The innovation in improving pharmacy access to people through e-Pharmacy can be a game-changer in ensuring rational and responsible access to medicines on a scale that has not yet been able to achieve.

E-pharmacy programme will help to address concerns for the proliferation of fake drugs because there will be a link to the database of the Food and Drugs Authority to authenticate the approval or otherwise of the medicines.

It will check unlicensed pharmacy operations and reduce disparities in the cost of medicines.

Dr Bawumia pledged the government recognizes the gaps in the health infrastructure and is committed to filling as many of the gaps as possible.

The introduction of this cutting-edge health technology, he emphasized, should help tackle at least 4 critical concerns in the healthcare system.

It should reduce the pharmacist to patient ratio, which is currently five times higher than the ratio recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

It should also improve confidentiality and privacy of patient medical records, minimize wrong self-diagnosis and self-medication and reduce counterfeit and substandard medication.

The global e-pharmacy market is worth about $81 billion today and it is expected to grow to $244 billion by 2027.

With the national E-Pharmacy platform, Ghana will be part of this new pharmaceutical digital economy.

The evidence from India also indicates that the national e-pharmacy is likely to boost pharmaceutical sales by between 100-200%.

It is therefore a win-win for all.


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