Sri Lanka is likely to face a shortage of drugs in about two months as the country continues to grapple with an economic crisis fuelled by forex shortages.
Speaking to Daily Mirror, Dr. R. M. Saman Kusumsiri Ratnayake, Secretary to the State Ministry of Drug Production, Supply and Regulation said considering the existing situation, they had drafted a priority list of drugs that need to be imported with immediate effect.
“Accordingly, Letters of Credit (LCs) for four consignments of drugs worth USD 5 million have already been opened while we have requested two state banks to open LCs for some other consignments of drugs worth USD 8 million and USD 14 million,” he pointed out.
He said although there is no shortage of drugs at present, there could be a shortage given the foreign exchange crisis.
“We are keeping a close eye on the situation and all relevant measures are being taken to avert such deficiency in future.
However, Dr Ratnayake warned that if the LCs for relevant drugs were not opened in due time, Sri Lanka could be dragged to a drug shortage in about two months.
Meanwhile, he said they were managing the limited stocks at present.
A Letter of Credit is a commitment by the buyer’s bank to pay once the exporter ships the goods and presents the required documentation to the exporter’s bank as proof. (Sheain Fernandopulle)