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28.10.2005 General News

Drug policy and treatment guidelines launched

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Takoradi Oct 28, GNA - Dr Sylvester Anemana, Western Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), on Friday called on Doctors to use the standard treatment guidelines to cut down treatment cost to ensure the success of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He made the call at the regional launching of the National Drug Policy, Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List at Takoradi. Dr Anemana said many people who prescribe drugs do not use the treatment guidelines and "This results in wide variations in treatment for the same condition with consequent disparities in treatment costs". He hoped the launch of documents on the drug policy, standard treatment and essential medicines lists would assist to solve this problem to encourage people to patronise health facilities.

Dr Anemana said the GHS has improved storage of medicines at the Regional Medical Stores and had improved distribution to health facilities in the region.

Mr James Ohemeng Kyei, Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Services in-charge of the Western Region, said the national drug policy is to ensure that people had access to good quality drugs at affordable prices.

Mr Kyei said under the Food and Drugs Law, advertisements to the general public of drugs, device and cosmetic for the treatment, prevention and cure of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and heart disease is prohibited.

He said despite the law, herbal products for the treatment of these ailments are advertised daily on the electronic media.

Mr Kyei called on the government and development partners to give resources to regulatory bodies to enforce health laws. He appealed to health professionals to ensure rational use of medicines in their facilities.

Mr Kyei said, "As responsible health professionals we have a responsibility to ensure that the right medicine is prescribed, dispensed and administered".

In an address read for him, Dr Melville George, World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative, said essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. He said the careful selection of a limited range of essential medicines results in a higher quality of care, better management of medicines, improved quality of prescribed medicines and more effective use of health resources.

Dr George said the essential medicines lists would guide schemes that reimburse medicines costs, medicines donation and local medicine production.

He commended the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Ghana National Drugs Programme, the Traditional Medicines Directorate and the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicines for the good work they were doing in the area of traditional medicines. Dr George noted that a section on traditional medicine has been included in the drugs policy and a list was being developed to include some herbal preparations on the essential medicines list for the benefit of the GHIS. 29 Oct 05

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