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Government to end monopoly in drug procurement

1 September 2023 06:56 pm - 22     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has directed the National Drug Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to put an end to the existing monopoly in the supply of certain drugs. 

The directive was issued during a discussion held today (01) with officials from various healthcare institutions, including the National Drugs Regulatory Authority, State Drugs Regulatory Corporation, State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation, Medical Supply Division and the Asian Development Bank.

During the discussions, the Minister highlighted the serious problems associated with relying on a single supplier for certain medicines. To avoid such problems, he urged the authorities to distribute procurement contracts among multiple qualified suppliers.

The Minister also emphasized the need to increase the number of qualified registered suppliers for each drug, introducing competition to control issues such as drug shortages and rising prices.

Minister Rambukwella further instructed the NMRA to expedite the process by adhering to the necessary rules and procedures, particularly for suppliers who meet the required qualifications. 

Besides, the Ministry of Health was tasked with formulating a policy to ensure that life-saving and essential medicines are adequately stocked in the Medical Supplies Division, while maintaining a one-year supply.


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  Comments - 22

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  • ravin Friday, 01 September 2023 07:18 PM

    Hmmm trying a different gimmick? past records are such, cut the grass under the feet?

    Percy Friday, 01 September 2023 07:28 PM

    Who is fooling whom ? This dirty bribe taking Minister is deliberately not telling the public that all the medical drug related deaths and all the people who went blind due to eye lotions, are all caused only by the Indian Made Medicines. But because he is bribed by the Indians ( money and possibly Indian prostitutes ) who could have compromising evidence to blackmail him, he has so far failed to stop any future purchase of Indian made medicines. So,Sri Lankans are going to die in future,just like before, while being administered with standard and safe medicines used all over the Europe but through Indian production they have become lethal.

    Sivakumar Friday, 01 September 2023 08:37 PM

    My dear friend india population is 1.40 billion we are using eye drops. No blindness and no side effects. Use American or Chinese etc. Dont spit venom on us fool

    Palm oil Friday, 01 September 2023 08:22 PM

    Minister must be getting a better commission from the Private sector suppliers than the tender commission

    Sri Lankan Friday, 01 September 2023 08:23 PM

    Very good move, but first stop NMRA guys from top to bottom including Doctors taking bribes to pass the quality certificate, NMRA guys control and allow imports of anything including sanitary stuff according to the payment they asked for,please check their accounts.

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Friday, 01 September 2023 09:25 PM

    Set up a price control unit for drugs, in 1968, a price control Unit headed by Dr.K.D.F. Piyaseeli, assisted by late Dr. D.M.H. Liyanage, under the Ministry, gazetted all drugs in an alphetical order, all importers were required to get formulary committee approval, to ascertain standards, then they should submit the invoice with c.i.f/fob values, to the price control unit to determine the pricing formula, approved drug prices gazetted periodically and a pricing gazette published annually, new drugs introduced published as an addendum to the main pricing gazette. I wonder, why this unit could not be revamped.

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Friday, 01 September 2023 10:34 PM

    99% percent of Indian Standards are quality drugs, meeting international standards, further freight charges are less, if we are to import drugs from Europe, we have to give 4 times higher freight charges,which would be added to the price of the drugs, which SriLankas cannot afford.

    A dying patient Saturday, 02 September 2023 12:01 AM

    What about ending the monopoly of purchasing low quality drugs from black-listed drug companies and getting 'Commissions' by the Minister?

    Ram Saturday, 02 September 2023 03:32 AM

    Until they find the proper drug they cannot eradicate this system. Proper drug is an honest leader and not the kind of leaders we had who all allowed corruption

    Nilmini Welivita Saturday, 02 September 2023 03:49 AM

    Keheliya getting worried about doing prison time for manslaughter.

    Mike Revere Saturday, 02 September 2023 05:48 AM

    Minister must go

    Suranguthi - Protestant Saturday, 02 September 2023 06:26 AM

    no monopoly, no dictatorship without mandates.

    Sudda Saturday, 02 September 2023 07:36 AM

    Very funny. The so-called minister is demanding the regulatory authorities to follow rules and regulations he himself did not follow. What a joke! Still the fellow will probably survive the non confide motion against him. Only in Sri Lanka things like this happen regularly! What a shame!

    DOT Saturday, 02 September 2023 08:06 AM

    For us, just an end to monopoly on courption!

    vijay Saturday, 02 September 2023 09:02 AM

    Please explain Mr.Percy, why your government is not importing medicines from China

    Concerned Saturday, 02 September 2023 09:34 AM

    Usually in an organisation when an employee doesn’t perform to expectations he is warned and given a time frame to improve himself work wiser failing while is dismiss but the government who has the whole country in their hands is playing with the citizens lives and the minister and his subordinates are still in position without any punishment. Should an ordinary citizen do som Wrong the law will be like blood hounds to capture and punish

    Dr. H.M. Hemachandra Saturday, 02 September 2023 09:42 AM

    Hay Rambukwella you cannot do anything now as you yourself taking Commissions on drugs imported from India.

    Dr. A.C.B. Jayaweera Saturday, 02 September 2023 09:44 AM

    Better you put yourself in the right place. You are robbing the poor man's money and trying to do miracles NMRA.

    G.T. Gunaratne - Senior Journalist Saturday, 02 September 2023 09:46 AM

    Before that you step down first. Ranil already has one person in mind to give your position. Yes, Rajitha will take over from you soon.

    Prof. K.J. Rajaratnam Saturday, 02 September 2023 09:48 AM

    Without knowing anything about Health you were made as a Health Minister by Ranil. In fact, all Ranil's selections and his ideas, plans are ZERO and he had become a Joker now again.

    Dhusana Saturday, 02 September 2023 10:21 AM

    Keheliya is trying all sort of Gimmicks to cover up his past actions which may have brought him a fortune. A person like Rajitha Senaratne is needed to bring down the present prices of drugs which most patients cannot afford ?

    RanjithT Saturday, 02 September 2023 10:36 AM

    What rubbish is this? Medicines are imported by the private sector too. I refrain from mentioning names but top companies had been in this business for a long time. However all importers need to get the NMRA approval at the initial stage there after they get the license to import on a consignment by consignment basis. I understand it takes years to get the approval but at times there appear to be short cuts. You know what I mean. Ha. Haaaa. However in perceived or real shortages or emergencies NMRA I understand issues No Objection Letters and in such cases importers can clear the goods without going through normal procedure. Ha. Haaaa. $$$$$$$$$ ??????


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