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Rogue multinational drug agencies to be blacklisted - Nimal

COLOMBO: The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry is planning to blacklist multinational drug agencies who engage in underhand procedures resulting in high drug prices in the local market, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said yesterday.

Speaking at a workshop, the Minister said that certain multinational drug agencies in Sri Lanka are engaged in a well-planned racket to make the Government buy drugs at high prices. The ultimate result would be an increase of the drug prices in the market.

"Some agencies accept Government orders and purposely delay delivering them. So the Government is left with no choice but to purchase these drugs at higher prices. In such cases the Government has to buy drugs under the brand names instead of the generic names," the Minister said.

According to him, the blacklisting of the agencies is also faced with many challenges as some agencies have a monopoly over certain drugs.

Drugs should meet the required international standards and qualities and also should come from registered agencies. The Ministry is faced with many challenges in providing drugs at cheaper prices to the public, Minister de Silva said.

Contacted by the Daily News, the Minister added that the Standing Committee to implement the 'National Medicinal Drug Regulatory Authority' would be immediately to provide high quality drugs at affordable prices.

The Authority would handle the regulation and control of the manufacturer, import, registration, promotion, trade and distribution of medicinal drugs within the country so that manipulation of drug prices would be minimised, he said.

Minister de Silva observed that the Authority would import drugs based on requirements so that unnecessary drugs at high prices would not be imported.

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