Streamline Providing Pharmaceuticals

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Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella urged his officials to streamline the provision of pharmaceuticals required for patient care for the months ahead. 

An official from the Health Ministry said the Minister had met his officials for a discussion on procurement, management and distribution of medicinal drugs and other pharmaceuticals to the public. Rambukwella yesterday (25) observed that the country had received large stocks of pharmaceuticals, from India, China and several other donations. He said however that in addition, other methods of procurement should be looked into in order to prevent a shortage. In addition, steps should be taken to procure the raw material required for the production of medicinal drugs locally. Officials to formulate the methodology through which that objective should be achieved through discussions with the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC). 

The Minister had noted that the funds could be obtained using the Indian Credit line, or from those received from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Sri Lanka had already received USD 18.6 million of the 23 million USD it was to receive from the World Bank, he said. 

It was important to procure the necessary pharmaceuticals even if it meant that the cost of drugs had to be amended to keep up with the increasing dollar rates, he pointed out, quoting the Health Minister.

Health Ministry Secretary, Janaka Chandraguptha, Director General Health Services, Dr. Asela Gunawardene, and institutional heads were also present. 

“Pharmaceuticals should be made available for at least the next six months by monitoring the situation,” the official noted. (DJ)