Medicinal drug policy will be passed next month: Minister
Apr 18, 2014
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena inspecting the facilities of the new ward complex at the Ratnapura General Hospital with Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W.D,J, Seneviratne and Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilaka.

The National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP) will be in the statute book by the end of May fulfilling a long-felt need in the country, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday.

‘The NMDP, drafted on the essential medicinal drug policy of the respected medical personality Prof. Senaka Bibile, has been presented to the Cabinet overcoming many an obstacle. I believe I would be able to present the Bill in Parliament and pass it before May as all parties in Parliament are in agreement with the NMDP,” he said.

Addressing a ceremony held to mark the opening of the new ward complex at the Ratnapura General Hospital with financial assistance provided by two prominent gem businessmen in Ratnapura Priyantha De Silva and Punsiri Tennekone to the tune of Rs. 400 million, Minister Sirisena said the country had discussed the NMDP for more than 40 years without getting it passed in Parliament.

Minister Sirisena said the drafting of the NMDP was not an easy task as various obstacles and challenges against it came not only from the private sector drug mafia but also from within the state bureaucracy. The government thinks the finalization of the NMDP draft was a victory to the government and to the people of the country.

About 90% of the medicinal drugs are purchased from India but it was found that some drugs from Indian suppliers do not meet the basic quality standards. There were instances where delivery of drugs gets delayed creating a drug shortage in the country. The Health Ministry was at the receiving end from the media and patients, he emphasized.

I took measures to confront these set-backs at a time when there was no drug policy, the health ministry had no choice but to sign government to government agreements with friendly countries like Bangladesh, Thailand and Pakistan putting an end to third party involvement in drug purchase, Minister Sirisena stressed.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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