Friday, 22 May 2020 12:39

Pharmaceutical imports to be streamlined eliminating intermediaries

Sri Lankan authorities have been directed to prevent any shortage of medicinal drugs by maintaining adequate stocks, streamlining the import disregarding the interests of a handful of intermediaries.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has issued this directive when he reviewed the production, import, and distribution of pharmaceutical supplies, during a discussion with the Chairmen of the two State Pharmaceutical Corporations, at the Presidential Secretariat.

.However there is an urgent need to streamline the procedure of medicinal drug imports as the country is heading for a shortage of medicines.

The government has decided to import 310 essential drugs at cost of Rs. 6 billion which are likely to be in short supply in government hospitals
According to Health ministry sources, under the normal procurement process it will take 11-14 months to purchase the drugs needed for the first quarter of the year.
It will take between 60 to 90 days to purchase these drugs even under emergency purchases, a ministry official said.

However it is not known as to whether this stock has already received by the health authorities although the decision has been taken in February due to delay in import procedures.

Currently there are 750 varieties of medicines in use in Sri Lanka and shortages may occur due to delays in the procurement process in respect of imports, officials said.

Directing that no room should be left for shortages in the supply of medicines in the country, the President pointed out the necessity of deciding the medicinal requirement of the coming year by studying the demand pattern of the previous year.

The previous government last year had allocated Rs. 41 billion for the supply of medicines to the Medical Supplies Division through the State Pharmaceutical Corporation, but the State agency had only allocated only Rs. 25 billion.

There was a shortage of pharmaceuticals in the state hospitals and the insufficient funds allocated last year has effected this shortage, Health ministry officials pointed out

Meanwhile the Government is currently evaluating a price increase request from the pharmaceutical industry on over 70 types of price-controlled drugs and devices due to the Rupee depreciation, officials said.



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