Shortage of pharmaceuticals: Govt. turns to India
- Shortage of over 500 drugs, says GMOA
- Authorities accused of failing to act
As local medical experts raised concerns over a drug shortage prevailing in the country, the Government notes that measures have been taken to import essential drugs that are in short supply from India immediately.
Co-Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Bandula Gunawardana told The Sunday Morning that the drug shortage in the country was not a new phenomenon as it prevailed even during the time of the previous Government.
However, with the record of shortages of several drugs in hospitals, the Government, through discussions held with Indian authorities, had taken measures to import necessary drugs in the near future, Dr. Gunawardana said.
It was the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) that raised concerns over a shortage of around 500 essential drugs in the country on Friday (17).
In a statement issued by the GMOA, its Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge had stated that the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC), Central Drug Supply Division (CDSD), and National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) had failed to act upon the instructions given by Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi.
The association has urged the Government to take necessary action to provide essential drugs to hospitals. However, Dr. Gunawardana noted that the Government, through the SPC, would take necessary measures to manufacture essential drugs within the country.
As the first step, Minister Wanniarachchi had inspected a location for drug manufacturing in Ratmalana on yesterday (18).
The Co-Cabinet Spokesman also noted that the present Government had to pay the drug purchasing bills of 2019 after it came to power.
India, from which Sri Lanka has taken measures to import essential drugs, is the largest drug supplier of Sri Lanka.
– Maheesha Mudugamuwa