- SPC currently has only 44 Rajya Osu Sala outlets
- Sathosa at present has over 420 outlets spread across country
State Pharmaceutical Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPC), the state-owned manufacturer and distributor of medicinal drugs, is considering expanding its reach significantly by establishing 100 new drug stores within the retail outlets of Sathosa and Co-op Supermarkets spread across the island.
The move came in the wake of SPC considering as to how it could expand its reach across the island, to provide affordable drugs to the people under its new management, which was assessing various models to achieve this objective.
The potential collaboration between the three state giants in their respective fields, one in medicinal drug manufacturing and trading and the other two in retailing, was taken up for discussion at length at a meeting held recently at the Presidential Secretariat, to discuss the future plans for the Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation State Ministry.
“… it was also discussed to set up 100 pharmacies in the islandwide network of Sathosa and Co-op Supermarkets to sell medicine manufactured by State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPC),” a statement issued by the President’s Office said.
SPC currently has only 44 Rajya Osu Sala outlets, confined only to the main known cities in the island.
The move, if becomes successful, could naturally provide SPC access to Sri Lanka’s largest retail network of Sathosa, which currently has over 420 outlets spread across the island.
The Co-op Supermarkets, albeit small in size, could allow SPC to reach out to millions of people in the far corners of the island, with affordable medicine.
In commercial terms too, the proposed arrangement could also result in significant synergies for all three parties, as SPC generates higher sales without having to invest in stores while Sathosa and Co-op Super could generate higher footfall, generating sales for their other retail goods as well as rental income for the floor space that they sub-lease for the pharmacy.
During the coronavirus lockdowns, SPC collaborated with Sri Lanka Post to deliver medicinal drugs to households. The orders were accepted via Viber and WhatsApp. However, with the easing of restrictions on movement of people and gradual opening up of pharmacies, the joint effort was abandoned.
According to the SPC website, the drugs could still be ordered using the above two platforms, from its local stores and get delivered.
SPC was also developing a mobile application to facilitate the online drug ordering.