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Medicine shortage: Stocks shortfall reducing?

Medicine shortage: Stocks shortfall reducing?

2 months ago | By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

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Pharmaceutical supplies received by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) and local pharmacies are gradually increasing, The Sunday Morning learns.

Several local pharmacies that The Sunday Morning spoke to last week acknowledged that supplies were gradually improving, with some claiming that limited stocks of some medicines that had been in short supply in the local market in the last few months had now been received.

When contacted, All-Island Private Pharmacy Owners’ Association (AIPPOA) President Chandika Gankanda told The Sunday Morning that the number of complaints they had received regarding the shortage of some medicines had now been drastically reduced and medicines were now being received.

However, according to Gankanda, the SPC-branded pharmaceuticals which were in stock before the crisis are yet to be received in the required volume. “There is a small reduction in shortages, but we still didn’t get enough of the SPC brands,” he said.

When The Sunday Morning contacted SPC General Manager Dinusha Dasanayake, he stated that the SPC was receiving medicines from India under the credit line and was expecting more deliveries in the coming weeks.

Dasanayake said that for the month of March, around 122 items had been scheduled. “Most of the items are short in supply in the market now,” he said.

Further, Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, responding to a question, said that medicine stocks would be received from India under the credit line as well as from some other countries. 

“The shortages will be sorted by the end of this month,” he stressed.

Over the last six months, numerous medical experts and organisations have warned of serious consequences due to the shortage of pharmaceuticals and other medicines, of which there was a shortage of around 150 varieties.

However, last December, the SPC stated that by the end of that month it would receive nearly 80 medicinal drugs and consumable items out of 467 for which the approvals had been given by the Health Ministry.

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