Pfizer partners NHIA to expand access to innovative medicine

Pfizer partners NHIA to expand access to innovative medicine

Multinational pharmaceutical company, Pfizer and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), have begun partnership on the reimbursement of antimicrobial agents in the country.

According to Vanguard report, both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monday, in Abuja.

The arrangement is an offshoot of the medicines supply initiative rolled out by the agency in October 2021, where a framework was developed to create an enabling environment for pharma companies to enter into partnership with the agency through an innovative cost-sharing mechanism to ensure the affordability of drugs for patients at treatment centres.

Speaking on the sideline of the agreement signing ceremony, Pfizer West Africa Country Manager, Olayinka Subair, explained that, “Pfizer’s partnership with National Health Insurance Agency is a significant and commendable milestone for infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship programs in Nigeria as it would address key affordability challenges that contribute to high morbidity and mortality in critical care.”

According to him, “Accessibility and affordability of the right antibiotic when patients present to treatment centres could determine treatment outcomes and, ultimately, survival of patients.”

“Similarly, limited options of antibiotics could lead to over-use of available antibiotics and consequently antimicrobial resistance. The partnership enables Pfizer, NHIA and healthcare institutions to engage in capability building initiatives that are designed to support the health insurance ecosystem,”he further said.

Also, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NHIA, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, said his organisation was “well positioned to accelerate access with the recent signing of the NHIA act which has expanded coverage for 83 million vulnerable Nigerians.

“The agency will continue to bring affordable and quality healthcare to all Nigerians, with the implementation of its ten-year strategic plan which is presently on course. As a health insurance regulator, we would work with Pfizer, the global drug giant to assiduously achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria,”he added.

He explained that,”NHIA provides social health insurance in Nigeria where health care services of contributors are paid from the common pool of funds contributed by the participants of the scheme. 

“It is a pre-payment plan where participants pay a fixed regular amount. The amount/funds are pooled, allowing the Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) to pay for those needing medical attention. It is primarily a risk sharing arrangement which can improve resource mobilization and equity. It is indeed regarded as the most widely used form of health care financing worldwide. NHIA also regulate private health Insurance operated by HMOs. 

“Health Insurance is social security system that guarantees the provision of needed health services to persons on the payment of token contributions at regular intervals,” he further said.

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