Pharma Companies Concerned Over ‘Certain Clauses’ Of Medicinal Drug policy

The Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industries (SLCPI) President, Chandra Jayaratne expressed concerns on some of the clauses that were mentioned with regard to the implementation of the National Drug Policy -  a promise that comes under the 100 day programme of the newly elected government.

He relayed that the Chamber was fully supportive of the current policy of ensuring the reception of quality drugs at affordable drugs into the country although he highlighted a concern over the ‘clause’ which says that the relevant drugs not only should be assessed from a scientific point of view but also needs to be revised through an authorized drugs regulatory system.

“If new drugs are to be registered, then this needs to go under a different criterion, which is the need clause. Regulators need to look at whether Sri Lankans would need it and henceforth, should be referred with specialized bodies such as the College of Paediatricians and the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA),” Jayaratne said.

He also added that when looking into the cost-effectiveness of the drug, an island-wide awareness method needs to be adopted where Sri Lanka must know about the product available and a broad-based and well discussed petition on cost-effectiveness should be produced.

The SLCPI has been in discussions with the Ministry of Health for a while and Jayaratne disclosed that all the companies under the Chamber have received an invitation from the Ministry to meet Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratna at the Waters Edge, Battaramulla this evening to further discuss about the policy.

President Maithripala Sirisena, when he was the Common Candidate of the opposition, said various obstacles stood on his way when he tried to implement the national drug policy when he was the Health Minister of the UPFA government.

 

The new government has repeatedly stated that it will certainly implement the drug medicinal policy as a way of bringing down the prices of drugs. 

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