Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said there are 14 life-saving drugs available in the country and they will be adequate for the next six months.
He also stated that the problem regarding pharmaceuticals prevailing now can be solved by next month. The Minister of Health said that many long-term, short -term and medium-term solutions have been focused on.
The Health Minister said that the production of pharmaceuticals in the country is targetted to increase to 50% in the next few years. The Minister said that production of pharmaceuticals locally is said to be about 15% to 20% and that steps have been taken to increase the production focusing mainly on the supply of pharmaceuticals required by the country.
The Minister made these remarks during a meeting with German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Holger Seubert at the Ministry of Health yesterday (25).
The Minister said that the support needed to produce pharmaceuticals required by the country will be given to all the investors, producers,industrialists and others and also that agreements for such a project have already been signed and that contracts for the subsequent purchase of their products have also been signed.
He said further that many concessions will be given including exemption from tax in the Import of equipment and 12 investors have invested in factories for the new project. At present, most of the saline requirement is being produced locally, he said and many equipment will be produced as well.
“We hope to enter into memoranda of understanding with countries that supply medications to Sri Lanka Minister Rambukwella said. He said that Germany, which is a leading country in supplying pharmaceuticals to Sri Lanka, is also included.
The minister said further that the time taken for registration of drugs has been reduced and more attention will be paid to it in the future. The minister said that 5 or 6 European countries are
expected to participate in these drug supply programmes and other countries are also expected to do so.
Minister Rambukwella pointed out that countries like India and Japan have already agreed to it and Indonesia has joined this process now. A discussion was also held between the German ambassador about the construction work of the maternity and newborn hospital to be built in Galle Mahamodara and the German Ambassador asked for the necessary arrangements to be made to finish the work as soon as possible and the President has already focused his attention to
it. The minister said that he hopes to discuss this in the Cabinet soon.
Holger Seubert, the German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, said that this year will mark the 70th anniversary since establishment of diplomatic ties between Sri Lanka and Germany.
Health Ministry Secretary Janaka Sri Chandragupta, Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena and Olaf Malchow, Deputy Head (Operations) of the German Embassy in Sri Lanka were also present.