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No officer-in-charge for MSD store no. 6: Lab techs

No officer-in-charge for MSD store no. 6: Lab techs

06 Dec 2023 | BY Buddhika Samaraweera

  • Raise concerns on cold chain custody issues


Claiming that an appointment is yet to be made in place of the officer-in-charge (OIC) of store number six of the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) of the Ministry of Health, the College of Medical Laboratory Science (CMLS) stated that the same may adversely affect the pharmaceutical drugs including vaccines at the said store.

Several officers of the MSD including its Director, Dr. Kapila Wickramanayake had been recently arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department over the incident of a batch of human intravenous immunoglobulin being supplied to the country's health sector using forged documents.

Speaking to The Daily Morning yesterday (06), the CMLS President, Ravi Kumudesh alleged that the officer-in-charge of the store number six was also among those who had been arrested by the CID and subsequently remanded, but that an appointment had not been made in place of him thus far. "Highly sensitive drugs such as immunoglobulin and anti-venom vaccines at that store are taken around the MSD. Leaving such drugs that should be managed in mandatory cold chains here and there harms their quality and efficiency."

Also commenting on the drug availability at the MSD, he said that a total of 156 drugs were not available at present, while the stocks of another 110 drugs are only sufficient for a short period. "If this situation continues, we will have to start next year (2024) with a shortage of about 300 drugs. The relevant officials should reveal their plans to overcome this issue without sitting doing nothing. Directing them towards that is the Government's responsibility."

The MSD Acting Director Dr. Dedunu Dias was not available for comment.

The MSD is the main institute responsible for providing all pharmaceuticals, surgical items, laboratory items, radioactive items, printed materials and other related commodities for Government hospitals and other healthcare institutes throughout the country. It is also responsible for supplying dangerous drugs and essential medical items, which are not available to the private sector in the open market. It has a network of stores comprised of a central medical store in Colombo (the MSD), and 26 regional stores at the District level. 



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