Just like in any major city in the world, most pharmacies in Accra sell every generic prescription drug. But have you ever gone round in Accra looking for a pharmacy that has a rare prescription drug in stock? If the answer is no, you’re probably searching for drugs used for the treatment of rare diseases and unfortunately, these are only found in very specific pharmacies.

What is considered a rare disease?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) website, a rare disease, also known as an orphan disease, is a disease that affects one out of every 2,000 people or less. Interestingly, this does not mean that the diseases are very few in number.

About 80% of these diseases are genetic, and thus are present throughout the person’s entire life, even if symptoms do not immediately appear. Rare diseases are chronic, life-threatening diseases. Without the proper care and resources, these diseases can severely impact a person’s quality of life.

Why are rare prescription drugs hard to find?

The history of rare disease in the world shows that medication for the treatment of these diseases has always lagged behind the production of drugs used in treating common illnesses. This is due to the relatively smaller patient pool and the high cost of production. Many pharmaceutical companies therefore have always been a bit reluctant to go into the production of the medication needed.

Those that do produce these medicines need to be able to recover the resources used in production. This in turn translates into a high unit cost of the rare drug. As a result of this, the drugs so desperately needed by the patients remain largely inaccessible. Thanks to the work of many organizations however, this situation is gradually changing. Rare drugs have always placed a heavy burden on health care systems.

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Here is a list of pharmacies in Accra selling rare prescription drugs.

Pharmacies in Accra selling rare prescription drugs

mPharma

Located at East Legon, this pharmacy serves the needs of a wide range of people including students and workers at the various University campuses in the area. MPharma is located on the same street as The Food Garage on the Garden Road.

Counterfeit and substandard drugs have become a global menace that regulatory authorities are striving hard to deal with. However, with Mphama, the risks of taking in counterfeit or substandard drugs are reduced to the barest minimum. They make sure that every manufacturer and distributor they work with, comply with all the regulatory processes and standards so they can provide unexpired and safe drugs.

In addition, MPharma has an electronic money wallet that is used exclusively by their company. The Mutti card is used to provide payment plans for those who cannot afford the price of certain drugs outright.

AddPharma (Movenpick)

This pharmacy started in 2010 with the collaborative efforts of two pharmacists with varied expertise in regulation, distribution and retailing of pharmaceutical products. Addpharma commenced business as a distribution company and subsequently entered into the retail pharmacy business in 2013 being motivated by the success of the distribution business.

The first retail outlet was established at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel and with innovative methods of service delivery and the use of modern technology. The pharmacy shot to fame and has many people trooping in on a daily basis to purchase their drugs.

Drugs that are harder to find as well as drugs for rare diseases are usually sold at AddPharma mainly due to their affiliation with reputable pharmaceutical companies and professionals in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany, Italy, India, South Korea and Slovenia. Addpharma has a website where customers can stay at home and order their pharmaceutical products to be delivered home.

The company has a number of branches which are: North Industrial Area, Lighthouse Mission Hospital branch, Darkuman Branch, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Branch, North Ridge Branch, Bukom Arena Branch.

Mokat Chemists

If you find yourself in the environs of Osu and you need a pharmacy that has all you need including rare drugs, Mokat Pharmacy is your store of choice. They are located on the La road and are right by the roadside and very close to the La General Hospital. On weekdays, they are open from 8am – 7:30 pm. Saturdays, 9am -7:30pm and 2pm to 6pm on Sundays.

Top-Up pharmacy

This is another pharmacy in Accra that is popular for providing all the drugs you need. This retail company has about 7 branches that serve different localities to make access to life saving drugs more convenient and affordable. The branches are at Osu, East Legon, Adabraka – Ridge, Spintex, Tema community 2, Tema Community 4, and Tema Community 9. Top – Up Pharmacy has rendered wholesale services, retail as well as online services for their clients.

Top-Up pharmacy has positioned itself to provide more than just the usual retailing of health products and drugs. They provide medication therapy management services, weight management services and counseling services. Top Up pharmacy has its head office at Tema community 9 where they have their warehousing and all their logistics.

Ernest chemists

With over 30 years of experience and due to their heavy advertisements, they have become a household name in terms of manufacturing and distributing pharmaceuticals. However, they have also entered and are competing in the retail pharmacy market. Ernest Pharmacy is located around the Kwame Nkrumah Circle – the Ring Road.

This company has the largest distribution network and retail chain in Ghana. This translates to well over 20 branches where customers easily get access to original drugs at stores closer to where they live. When you need rare drugs, some can be purchased at any of the Ernest Chemist branches in Accra.

Sometimes, when a drug is not available in any of these pharmacies, they are willing to source it for you.


As mentioned in the opening paragraph, a lot of individuals, groups and organizations are working hard in Ghana to provide services to persons living with a rare disease. They may also have rare drugs available. If you or someone you know needs a rare drug, feel free to contact the pharmacies in Accra listed above.

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