The long- awaited legislation that provides for the introduction of a national drug policy in line with the recommendations of Prof. Senaka Bibile has been drawn up, and a copy of it will be presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa today, a spokesman said.
The bill is aimed at prescribing pharmaceuticals to patients under their generic names and preventing patients from being exploited by what the Health ministry referred to as the ‘drug mafia’.
A ministry spokesman told Daily Mirror that the bill was drafted despite various obstacles placed in its path by the drug mafia.
The late Prof. Bibile is renowned for his pharmaceutical reforms, and he advocated the concept of ‘safe medicines for all, affordable to those able to pay, free to those who cannot pay’. His policy stressed the need to regulate the import of drugs and their use in the country.
Ministry spokesman Dharma Wanninayake said a copy of the bill would be handed over to the President by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to coincide with the beginning of the national health week.
“The Ministry formulated the policy and referred it to the Legal Draftsman’s Department in 2011 to be drafted into a bill. Yet, it disappeared mysteriously. Later we made fresh efforts to formulate the bill. Now it has become a reality,” he said.
After handing over the bill to the President, it will next be sent to Cabinet for approval. Once Cabinet clears the bill, it will be presented in Parliament,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)
Final draft of National drugs Act Presented to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Pic by President's media