The Vice President has announced that government will launch an E-Pharmacy project to address challenges faced by members of the public in accessing medicines.
According to him, currently, many patients spend long hours searching for pharmacies where they can obtain prescribed medications, sometimes at very expensive prices.
Delivering a public lecture on Ghana’s digital economy, at the Ashesi University on Tuesday, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia stated that the Pharmacy Council in collaboration with the private sector have therefore been challenged to digitize the operations of pharmacies in Ghana.
“Basically, the digital E-Pharmacy platform will offer the opportunity to everyone through a mobile phone to upload your prescriptions and find out which pharmacies near you have the drugs. Secondly, you can compare the prices for the same drug offered by different pharmacies, so that you can buy from the lowest priced pharmacies.”
He explained that the project, which will be launched before the year ends, is being piloted with 45 pharmacies.
The Vice President noted that the public will be able to order and pay for the drugs through mobile money or GhQR (Scan and Pay).
“The medicines will then be delivered to customers at home through courier service,” he added.
Dr Bawumia said, among other things, the E-Pharmacy will address issues of drug abuse. He added that controlled drugs like Tramadol, will only be given a one-time code sent via SMS (once the prescription is uploaded) for use at the pharmacy.
“The E-Pharmacy platform will also check fake or counterfeit drugs because the platform will be linked to the FDA, which will monitor the batch numbers of all products in real time. Any drug for which the FDA does not have a batch number will be classified as fake,” the Vice President said.
He revealed that the E-Pharmacy project will make Ghana the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to have a national scale E-Pharmacy and one of only a few countries in the world with a national scale E-pharmacy.
“The E-Pharmacy is scheduled to be launched before the end of the year. I would like to thank the Pharmacy Council and the Ghanaian private partners for being very proactive and for tolerating my hounding,” he added.