Country to focus more in domestic pharma investment
State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana assured that efforts would be made to increase domestic investment in Sri Lanka’s pharmaceutical manufacturing industry thereby increasing the country’s self-sufficiency in pharmaceuticals which would also be a countermeasure against the deepening forex crisis.
Speaking at Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association Interactive Session held in Colombo yesterday (21) Prof. Jayasumana said the Government will take radical decisions within another three months which will lead to a paradigm change in the registration and regulatory processes in the local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. “If local pharmaceutical manufacturers are ready to supply any new product even without proper registration we are thinking of going ahead with the registration process. We can take a policy decision, at least for a six months to one year period to go ahead with this process. This will benefit local firms to boost domestic manufacturing capabilities and improve local medicine supply .At the same we are thinking of restricting certain products which are sufficiently produced locally, such as Amoxicillin etc.”
According to Prof. Jayasumana, the local pharmaceutical industry is heavily dependent on imports with around 90 per cent of products available in the private sector being imported. Minister Jayasumana also promised to create a conducive environment for local pharmaceutical manufacturers to forge a much needed relationship with the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA). Speaking at the event, Sanjaya Jayaratne President SLPMA stressed the need to come up with friendly policies to realise Sri Lanka’s ambitious target of becoming self-sufficient in pharmaceuticals. “All our neighboring countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan are sufficient in pharmaceuticals. This is the thrust industry that can bring in forex to the country or stop foreign outflows from the country. To this end, everybody has to come in line and make this happen” Jayaratne said.