BACKGROUND: Frequent stock-out of drugs in the public
hospitals causes National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
enrollees to purchase most of their medicines out-of-pocket in
community pharmacies, thereby imposing financial constraints on
them against the main objective of the scheme. The objectives of
this study were to determine and compare the level of participation
of private retail community pharmacies (PRCPs) in the NHIS of
Nigeria and Ghana, to describe their spatial distribution, and to
highlight from literature major factors that would influence the
participation of these pharmacies in the scheme.
METHODS: PRCPs data were collected from the Nigerian NHIS
active secondary healthcare providers list of 1 st July 2017 and the
Ghanaian NHIS active providers online list of 2018. PRCPs
densities at the national levels were calculated from last published
national coverage data for each country.
RESULTS: The total number of PRCP accredited by NHIS of both
Nigeria and Ghana is 964(639[66.3% versus 325[33.7%]). NHIS
accredited PRCPs densities for Nigeria and Ghana were 1 PRCP
per 9, 390 enrollees and 1 PRCP per 33, 108 enrollees respectively.
Across the Nigerian States, it was noted that Lagos State has the
highest proportion (21.4%, n = 137) of community pharmacy
participation in the scheme whereas, in Ghan, Greater Accra
Region has the highest participation (34.2%, n = 111).
CONCLUSION: This study revealed low participation of PRCPs
and skewed spatial distribution between urban and rural areas of
both countries, although there was higher participation of these
pharmacies in Nigeria due to Nigerian lower NHIS coverage data
compared to Ghana.
KEYWORDS: National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS),
Reimbursement, Essential Medicines, Private Retail Community
Pharmacy (PRCP), Nigeria, Ghana