Why NHIA wants to brand 33 essential drugs for enrollees – Coordinator
By Ahmed AHMED
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has decided to brand 33 essential medicines with NHIA inscription to help eradicate out-of-stock syndrome, ensure sustainable access and improve efficacy of the drugs being dispensed to enrollees by health care facilities nationwide.
It would be recalled that the Authority had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 12 indigenous pharmaceutical companies and 8 Drugs Management Organizations (DMOs) for the production and distribution of quality drugs that would be exclusively for NHIA enrollees.
The Bauchi State Coordinator of the Authority, Mal Mustapha Mohammed disclosed this on Wednesday during an interaction with representatives of MDAs, healthcare facilities and Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs) in Bauchi State.
He said in the first phase, NHIA has chosen 7 states and FCT (Gombe, Niger, Jigawa, Sokoto, Osun, Enugu and Delta states.
Mohammed warned against diversion saying the branded drugs would be certified by NAFDAC and should not be found on the shelves of any non accredited facility.
He said the sensitization was organized to update stakeholders on the ongoing sweeping reforms in the Authority noting that the medicines supply initiative is tailored to protect enrollees against substandard drugs and make them more affordable to Nigerians.
He commended the Management of the Authority for launching a new Operational Guidelines to provide direction for the smooth implementation of NHIA programmes and expand the health insurance ecosystem.
Mohammed warned stakeholders against violation of the new guidelines saying most of the challenges hampering the smooth operations of health insurance have now been redressed. He urged participants to acquaint themselves with the new provisions to avoid defaulting.
The representative of the stakeholders, Shuaibu M. Rabiu of Remee Medicare promised stakeholders’ readiness to abide by the new guidelines and encouraged NHIA to ensure adequate availability of the branded drugs.
He appealed to the Authority to continue to sensitize enrollees on the operationalization of the NHIA Act, 2022.