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Adopt price mechanism for pharmaceuticals -SLCPI

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SLCPI President Prathaban Mylvaganam. Picture by Wimal Karunathillaka.
SLCPI President Prathaban Mylvaganam. Picture by Wimal Karunathillaka.

The Pharmaceutical Industry is not against price reduction but as per the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) Act there should be a pricing mechanism and this should be implemented, Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry’s (SLCPI) newly appointed President Prathaban Mylvaganam opined.

Addressing the SLCPI 62nd Annual General Meeting he said, “With the little discussion we had with the newly appointed Chairman of the pricing committee we were pleased to observe his understanding of the challenges faced by the industry. We are hopeful that within three to four months we will be able to develop a fair and workable price mechanism that takes into account these industry-specific expenses and the ultimate benefit will be passed on to the patients.”

The SLCPI President also said that regulatory fees should be levied in Sri Lanka rupees instead of in US Dollars which makes it susceptible to exchange fluctuations. Regulatory fees also have been increased exorbitantly with the introduction of the NMRA Act in 2016 with some fees increasing three to 12 fold.

He said the pharmaceutical business in Sri Lanka is worth Rs 160 billion whereas 25% is handled by the government which is Rs 40 billion and Rs 120 billion is with the private sector there were so many local pharmaceutical manufacturers and what was needed is to give them incentives such as buy back guarantee and bring in expertise to help them.

Mylvaganam said the industry faced financial challenges and extensive delays in payments by the SPC have caused severe financial strain on companies, pushing them beyond their limits. It was also highlighted that one-sided tender clauses detrimental to suppliers lead to losing confidence and causing reluctance to participate in the tenders. Also, some of the tender clauses are derived from the national procurement guidelines which are not tailored to pharmaceutical issues.

Also, it was pointed out that the current requirement of a straight line 75% residual shelf life on shipment arrival is not practical for all products and SLCPI has already proposed some practicable changes concerning the NMRA.

Monday, June 26, 2023 – 01:00

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