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Quality drugs will be imported from India: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka said quality drugs will be imported from India to meet the shortage of essential medicines in the country.

Colombo: Sri Lanka Wednesday said quality
drugs will be imported from India to meet the shortage of
essential medicines in the country.

The country faces an emergency due to shortage of
essential medicines, particularly saline. It may be recalled
that late last year, the Sri Lankan government suspended six
Indian pharma companies for supplying inferior quality drugs.
No sub-standard drugs will be bought from India from
where the medicines will be imported, the government has said.

"Our ministry team visited India two days ago to firm
up supply of medicines including saline bottles," Healthcare
and Nutrition Minister Maithripala Sirisena told Parliament
while assuring care will be taken not to import any
sub-standard drugs.

Sirisena pointed out that his ministry had also
discussed the issue of import of medicines with the Indian
High Commission officials here.

This was after some some of the medicine vials
supplied by them were found contaminated with glass and
plastic particles.

The Health Ministry here is considering purchasing
drugs only from the companies registered with the Indian

According to a report, arrangements have been made to
purchase 97 varieties of drugs within the next few weeks.

The Health Ministry here is now in the process of
distributing 44 varieties of drugs among State hospitals for
which imports will take place from India.

Health Ministry Secretary Dr Ravindra Ruberu said the
ministry would carry out an extensive probe to get to the core
of the matter that caused regular drug shortages in public
hospitals in recent years, the Sunday Times reported.

"We found out that 319 varieties of essential drugs
are in short supply in public hospitals," Dr Ruberu said.

He revealed that a consignment containing 90 varieties
of essential drugs had reached Colombo port and would be
cleared in the next few days, the newspaper said.

Ruberu said the rest of the essential drugs would be
bought from local agents or airlifted from parent companies in
India. Last Thursday, Sri Lanka Air Force cargo aircraft
brought in 40,000 bottles of saline from India and is gearing
up to bring in more essential drugs from India.

According to health officials, public hospitals
require some 600,000 bottles of saline immediately.

A High level team from the Sri Lankan Health and
Finance Ministry visited Mumbai last week to place orders from
Indian pharmaceutical companies.

The team also consisted of officials from the Medical
Supplies Division (MSD), State Pharmaceutical Corporation
(SPC) and the Drug Regulatory Authority.


From Zee News

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