Mar 12, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has imposed price control on imported drugs to prevent unscrupulous importers from making large profits at the expense of general public.
Sri Lanka Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando at a media briefing said today that the government has issued the gazette notification announcing the price control on March 04 and the prices of drugs are now regulated.
He said it has been pointed out to the President that the profit margin from imported medicines is extremely high and the President has therefore instructed to introduce a controlled price structure to safeguard the consumers.
The Minister further stated that the price control was revoked by a former UNP government. The Minister himself was in that government and he said that it was wrong decision. As a result companies profit as much as 800 percent from the drugs, the Minister pointed out.
According to the gazette notification, the pharmacy owners are not allowed to increase the prices of western drugs. The importers must obtain permission from the Consumer Affairs Authority before increasing the prices and legal action will be taken against the violators, the Minister said.
He said the prices of the drugs would be decided under a new methodology and two committees under the leadership of secretaries of the Ministries of Trade and Health have been appointed to formulate the price control.