May 25, Colombo: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, today, instructed the Ministry of Health to immediately submit a report on the essential drugs in Sri Lanka and the drugs which are in short supply, Prime Minister’s Office said.
This was stated at a discussion held at the Prime Minister’s Office today (25) under the patronage of the Prime Minister to discuss short term and medium term solutions to the current drug crisis due to the current economic crisis.
In addition, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said after discussions the Governments of Sri Lanka and India had agreed to pay back the loan in Sri Lankan Rupees due to the lack of dollars for the purchase of US $ 200 million worth of medicines received by Sri Lanka under the Indian loan facility.
Addressing the gathering, Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella stated that due to the stock of medicines and anesthetics to be provided by the French Government tomorrow, it will be possible to maintain a continuous 90 day operation in all emergency operating theatres in the country.
Meanwhile, the Drug Regulatory Authority is making prompt purchases of drugs. An Independent Committee headed by the Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella has been appointed to amend the Drugs Regulatory Authority Act.
In addition, it was revealed that a shortage of 76 essential medicines is prevalent at present while the government is yet to pay local pharmaceutical suppliers Rs.33 billion in arrears.
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Former Minister Ruwan Wijewardena and former Minister Sagala Ratnayake as well as the Secretary to the Ministry of Health and government health officials were also present.