As part of the government’s continued efforts to improve Ghanaians’ access to and delivery of health care, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has released the policy and guidelines for the National E-Pharmacy program.
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What is meant by E-pharmacy?
A pharmacy is known now as an “e-Pharmacy” that ships medications to customers after selling them online. The method of buying drugs has gotten considerably simpler and more convenient as a result of the internet. Patients can use the internet to place prescription drug orders with licensed pharmacists, who will then ship the medications to the patient’s local delivery location. The E-Pharmacy concept, which is incredibly user-friendly and keeps expanding quickly, began to displace conventional pharmacies.
How Does Online Pharmacy Operate?
Patients download mobile applications on their smartphones or tablets as a first step. Then, they upload a copy of their scanned prescriptions to the system to create a request for medications. A staff of licensed pharmacists controls each drug request made through the system.
Steps to register your Electronic Pharmacy in Ghana
To register your pharmacy please follow these steps:
- Go to https://forms.pcghana.org/ in any web browser
Enter the license number of your existing retail pharmacy.
Fill out the form appropriately and submit it online. You will be required to provide the registration number(s) of the responsible pharmacist(s) NB. This may be different from the superintendent pharmacist for the brick-and-mortar pharmacy.
You are required to agree to all the terms and conditions stated in the form before you submit it.
You will receive an email confirming that the form was successfully submitted and is pending review by your responsible pharmacist.
The responsible pharmacist will be required to log in to the Pharmacists’ Portal and confirm the registration form submitted. Until this is done your registration will not be processed.
After a successful review by your pharmacist, you will receive an email from the Pharmacy Council asking you to make payment. Kindly make a payment of 700 Ghana Cedis at any branch of Fidelity Bank and send a snapshot of the payment slip/invoice by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bank details are as follows:
Bank: Fidelity Bank
Account Name: Pharmacy Council Collection Account
Account Number: 1300617537918
Branch: Kwame Nkrumah Avenue
Once your payment is processed your registration will be forwarded to the National Electronic Pharmacy Platform Manager (Rx Health Info System) for onboarding onto the platform. The platform managers will communicate any necessary instructions including payment of annual subscription fees
What Are the Advantages of E-Pharmacy?
• It is very easy to order prescription drugs through E-Pharmacy. Especially for people who live far away from a traditional pharmacy, the elderly, disabled people, and those who work very intensively, this system is both a very easy and a very fast method of obtaining medicine. Additionally, the shipping cost is much cheaper than traveling to a traditional pharmacy.
• One of the most important advantages of the E-Pharmacy application is time-saving. You can order your medication within minutes and get your prescription medicines very quickly. All you have to do is to place an order by entering the prescription through the mobile application or website. You do not have to go to the pharmacy and you will not be faced with waiting in line at the pharmacy.
• Buying drugs on the internet also saves money. Studies show that buying drugs online can save a third of the money in total.
• Another advantage offered by E-Pharmacy is privacy and confidentiality. This system provides great convenience, especially for those who are afraid of talking face to face with doctors and pharmacists. In addition, people can order medications without any drawback on special issues such as sexuality or adolescence that may be a source of embarrassment.
• E-Pharmacy, which offers a much wider range of options than a traditional pharmacy, provides a great advantage to patients. It is not possible to find every drug in a physical pharmacy in a particular area, but there are many more drug options available in general drug stores.
• Most legal stores that work with E-Pharmacy have a drug verification process. These stores request a prescription from a personal doctor or drug delivery is applied after completing a questionnaire about the patient’s health status. These questionnaires are approved by a doctor before being distributed.
• Some online pharmacies share useful information about medicines and illnesses. It provides links to useful information, as well as important medical resources, universities, and government agencies.
What Are the Disadvantages of E-Pharmacy?
• One of the biggest disadvantages of the online pharmacy model is the lack of physical evaluation capability. In some cases, physical evaluations can be made and situation analysis can be done very effectively. Even if the online evaluation process is done, this process will not be done by licensed healthcare professionals.
• One of the disadvantages of E-Pharmacy is that there is no one you can contact face to face. When patients want to ask questions about the drugs they are taking, it is very difficult for them to reach a licensed pharmacist. For this reason, it may not be possible for patients to access their medication on the same day.
• Some online pharmacies can dispense medicines to patients without requiring a prescription. In such a case, patients can get sick much more severely instead of healing. Therefore, when buying drugs from the pharmacy, pharmacists must request a prescription. Some illegal online pharmacies sell over-the-counter drugs putting human health at risk, and it is very difficult to prevent this.