Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana called for the blacklisting of contractors and suppliers of substandard medicine.
Dr. Pathirana yesterday (14) instructed officials to blacklist pharmaceutical companies that failed to comply with proper international procurement standards.
“This should apply to even local drug companies and they should not be spared,” Dr. Pathirana said.
He observed that billions of rupees were spent annually for this purpose which is why pharmaceutical companies should provide quality medicines to patients.
Meeting with the Medical Supplies Division (MSD), the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC), the State Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), which are under the Health Ministry, he instructed that a Pricing Committee should decide the cost of medicinal drugs.
Dr. Pathirana said more than USD 500 million was spent annually on medicines.
Therefore the best solution was for the country to manufacture its own medicinal drugs.
He instructed officials to work on importing the required medicines to the country using the right procurement method and to pay attention to the importation of surgical consumables and items such as lenses and stents so that there is no shortage in the island.
The Director General of Health Services, the Deputy Director General MSD, the Chairman SPC and the Chairman of the NMRA were instructed to negotiate with the relevant parties and speed up the process according to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of India and the Government of Sri Lanka.