No drug shortage - Health Minister
The Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) is trying to
mislead the public by stating that there is a severe drug shortage in
the country. The reality is there are 8,885 varieties out of drugs
freely available in the State hospitals.
The total number of drugs imported to Sri Lanka is 8,900, Healthcare
and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said.
Addressing a special press briefing at his Ministry yesterday de
Silva said only 15 drugs are out of stock because the Ministry has to
follow proper tender procedure when importing drugs to meet the
temporary shortage caused when a batch of imported drugs fail.
"This is a common situation arise in anywhere in the world and the
ministry has already made arrangements to supply the required drugs."
The Minister said it is surprising the way the GMOA demands certain
drugs like Lovestain which is withdrawn after medical specialists'
recommendations. This drug was withdrawn because it could cause
dangerous effects such as heart failure. A substitute called Atorva was
introduced for it. The GMOA also says there is a shortage of this
He said since the GMOA says they `learn' from medical representatives
about drugs, the ministry has now given doctors an opportunity to learn
from them more effectively.
Under this new decision, medical representatives will be allowed to
visit State hospitals three days a week between noon and 2.00 p.m. and
they will be required to follow a specific set of rules set for them.
Under these rules, they will be given a special identity card and a
system of registration, the Minister said.