By Ahmed Kaigama
Malam Mustapha Mohammed, the Coordinator, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in Bauchi State has warned against diversion of branded and certified drugs for enrollees in the state.
Mohammed gave the warning during an interaction with representatives of MDAs, healthcare facilities and Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs) on Wednesday in Bauchi.
He said the authority would not tolerate the diversion of the drugs to be certified by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
He said that the drugs should also not be found on the shelves of any non-accredited facility.
Mohammed explained that the agency had decided to brand 33 essential medicines with NHIA inscription to address the out-of-stock syndrome.
He said it would equally ensure the sustainable access and improvement in the efficacy of the drugs being dispensed to enrollees by health care facilities nationwide.
The NHIA coordinator recalled that the authority had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 12 indigenous pharmaceutical companies.
He said they also signed an MoU with eight Drug Management Organisations (DMOs) for the production and distribution of quality drugs meant exclusively for NHIA enrollees.
Mohammed said that in the first phase sensitisation, the NHIA choose seven states: Gombe, Niger, Jigawa, Sokoto, Osun, Enugu and Delta and FCT
He said the sensitisation was organised to update stakeholders on the ongoing sweeping reforms in the authority.
He noted that the medicines supply initiative was tailored to protect enrollees against substandard drugs and make them more affordable to Nigerians.
Mohammed commended the management of the authority for launching a new operational guidelines to provide direction for the smooth implementation of NHIA programmes and expansion of the health insurance ecosystem.
He warned stakeholders against violation of the new guidelines saying that most of the challenges hampering the smooth operations of health insurance had been redressed.
He urged participants to acquaint themselves with the new provisions to avoid defaulting.
The representative of the stakeholders, Shuaibu Rabiu of Remee Medicare, promised the stakeholders’ readiness to abide by the new guidelines.
He urged NHIA to ensure availability of the branded drugs.
He appealed to the authority to continue to sensitise enrollees on the operationalisation of the NHIA Act, 2022. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chidi Opara/Julius Toba-Jegede