Shortage of medicines likely due to dollar crisis

Shortage of medicines likely due to dollar crisis

Shortage of medicines likely due to dollar crisis

Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi

11 Jan, 2022 | 7:52 am

COLOMBO (News 1st): Many problems have arisen with regard to the importation of pharmaceutical drugs in the face of the prevailing dollar crisis in Sri Lanka, which could result in a shortage of vital medicines in the future, warned the country’s health professionals.

“As of now given the non-issuance of Letters of Credit under the Ministry of Health and the State Ministries of Health, there is an impending crisis of a shortage of close to 80 medicines in the country this entire year,” Ravi Kumudesh, the Chairman of the Complementary Medical Services Federation told News 1st.

According to Kumudesh, Letters of Credit are yet to be issued for the importation of close to 80 pharmaceutical drugs including for Cancer treatment, Heart conditions, Pediatric Medications, and Chronic Kidney Disease, among others.

“The orders to purchase medicines are placed one year in advance, which means the Letters of Credit to obtain medicines in the month of January, should have been issued in August or September last year. The procurement and importation of medicines take around 04-months,” he noted.


Responding to questions raised by journalists regarding the non-issuance of Letters of Credit to purchase medicines, Deputy Director-General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said “Logically, the impact of non-issuance of Letters of Credit could affect the importation of medicines.”

However, he noted that since priority is given to the importation of essential items, a shortage of medicines could be prevented.

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