Assistant General Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association, Ronald Antwi, has called on the government to remove value-added tax (VAT) from essential medications for kidney patients.

According to him, the tax relief would greatly benefit kidney patients by reducing the financial burden associated with their treatment.

He further stated that a complete elimination of duty costs would demonstrate the government’s commitment to supporting individuals affected by kidney disease.

Speaking on the JoyNews AM Show on May 15, he said, “With the duty cost and VAT and all that, we are importing about 40–50% of the cost of some of these medications. So that is why we are asking if there could even be a reduction. First of all, the VAT removal.

“We initially pushed for some medication to have this, to enjoy some of these VAT exemptions, which are captured in L.I. 22/55, but then we are still asking that more medication, more prescription medication be pushed there so that if the total duty cannot even be reduced, the VAT component at least can be taken off for some of these patients to have some breathing space.”

Dr Antwi highlighted the significant impact of VAT and import duties on pharmaceutical importers and wholesaler associations, rendering them unable to implement price reductions for consumers.

According to statistics, nearly 1,300 Ghanaians are on dialysis, and a renal patient requires about 12 sessions of dialysis a month. With the cost of GH₵380 per dialysis increased to GHS491, a patient will need nearly GHS6,000 a month for the full session.

NHIA to implement 6-month dialysis support on June 1 – CEO reveals

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Aboagye Da-Costa, has revealed that his outfit will commence its intended support for dialysis treatment on June 1.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Wednesday, May 15, Dr Da-Costa noted that the support would be implemented for the next six months.

This initiative follows the approval of GH₵2 million by Parliament to assist patients requiring dialysis in various parts of the country.