(Ecofin Agency) - Mahamudu Bawumia (pictured), Vice President of Ghana, recently launched the process of digitizing pharmacies across the country. The first step consisted of launching the regulatory framework governing the national e-pharmacy program. This was done last December 22.
The leader said the second step, which is the implementation of the e-pharmacy platform, will take place in 2022. The e-pharmacy platform, developed with the contribution of several stakeholders including the Pharmacy Council and the Pharmaceutical Society, will be linked to the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) database “to authenticate the approval or otherwise of the medicines on offer, check unlicensed pharmacy operations, reduce disparities in the cost of medicines and tackle some of the major administrative and delivery issues that affect the practice of 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 […] The innovation in improving pharmacy access to our people through E-Pharmacy can be a game-changer in safeguarding the future of our youth and ensuring rational and responsible access to medicines on a scale we have not yet been able to achieve,” Mahamudu Bawumia explained.
In 2009 the FDA indicated that for antimalarials alone the rate of counterfeiting was 39.9%. In 2013, China granted its expertise to Ghana to identify poor-quality drugs. In 2017, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services backed these efforts. The government's e-pharmacy platform is based on the idea developed by Ghanaian startup m-Pedigree to verify the authenticity of medicines. The startup was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2011 Netexplorateur Forum.
Ghana's vice president estimates that "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.”