Feb 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka aiming to manufacture 90 percent of the medicine needed by the country locally launched a project to construct a facility for manufacturing cancer drugs using nanotechnology.
Sri Lanka's Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne Friday (02) laid the foundation stone for the construction of a Nanotechnology drug manufacturing plant in the Malegoda area in Payagala.
The project under the program to locally produce drugs is implemented under the supervision of Health Ministry and State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation. It is a joint investment of Rs. 1.4 billion by two Indian companies.
The drug manufacturing complex to be built in a 15 acre land will provide employment to 500 unemployed youth in the Kalutara District.
The agreement to build the manufacturing facility was signed yesterday in Kalutara. Dr. Sayura Samarasundera, Chairman of the State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation and Vijay Prakash, Chairman of India's SPAL Pvt. Ltd signed the agreement.
Speaking on the occasion Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the constructions would cost more than one billion rupees.
The Minister said that after he reduced the prices of 48 essential drugs, he decided to regulate the prices of expensive drugs and the regulation of the prices of cancer drugs will be announced soon. .
He said the minimum price of a cancer drug is around Rs.150000 and therefore the government decided to locally manufacture the cancer drugs needed for the patients.
The Minister said about 40 drug companies have signed agreements with the State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) to manufacture pharmaceutical products.
According to these agreements, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities have been opened in Kandy and Horana and the production at these facilities has already commenced.
"We are constructing a pharmaceutical manufacturing complex at Welipenna in Kalutara. There will be 19 pharmaceutical plants will be in that complex," he said.
He said once the new facility of the SPMC is completed, it will also increase the production capacity to 4 billion units tablets/capsules.