Written by Staff Writer
17 Oct, 2018 | 7:02 pm
Colombo (News1st): The Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) issuing a media statement notes that they will no longer import 11 pharmaceutical products as it is not commercially viable to import them.
SLCPI notes that despite persistent appeals, the Government has failed to address the issue of a fair and proper pricing mechanism for pharmaceutical products in light of the sharply depreciating Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar.
According to the media release the SLCPI accuses the Ministry of Health and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority of willfully depriving the opportunity for the industry to adjust the prices of products.
Convening a media briefing today Minister of Health (Dr.) Rajitha Senaratne explained that most of the drugs are being withdrawn because they have no place in the Sri Lankan market.
The minister used some of the drugs on the list as an example. Citing statistics the min. Rajitha noted that while around 21mn Sitagliptin Phosphate was used in the country from 2014 to 2017, only 58,800 of them are Januvia tablets.
He noted that while 19,800 Hyzaar Tablets were sold in the country during the same period, other brands of Losartan Potassium sold around 8.5mn tablets.
Another example used by the minister was the Binozyt Capsules which sold only 180 tablets as opposed to other Azithromycin Capsules which have sold around 4.2mn tablets.
The Minister notes that it is comical to believe that these drugs are being withdrawn from the country due to the Government’s medical policy. According to the medical audit conducted in 2017 usage of pharmaceutical drugs has increased by 600%, the minister claims that the increased consumption is because of lower costs.
The Minister added that usually in European or American markets one drug will have around 4 or 5 variants (brands) because they have been selected over time as high-quality products, however in Sri Lanka one type of drugs will have around 35 to 50 different brands because drugs from all over the world are imported and sold at various prices.
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