NDCDA a sham say State Pharmacists
June 10, 2014

State sector pharmacists yesterday registered their strong protest over the proposed National Drugs and Cosmetics Devices Authority Act (NDCDA), which they described as a distortion of Prof. Senaka Bibile’s Essential Medicines Concept.

They claimed that the Bill had been drafted to serve the interests of a certain highranking official.

“If the proposed draft Bill was passed in Parliament and implemented in its present form it will kill the free health service in this country, fatten the pockets of transnational drug companies and strengthen the drug mafia leaving the hapless patients more ill than before,” Society of Government Pharmacists’ (SGP) General Secretary Ajith P. Tilakaratne said.

He said this official who had taken upon himself the task of drafting the new Bill had done it to suit the interests of the drug mafia.

Mr. Tilakaratne told the media that doctors had been given the freedom to prescribe drugs either under their brand name or the generic name. He said this was a blatant violation of the National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP) as advocated by the revered Prof. Senaka Bibile. “The draft Bill will not prevent people from obtaining medicinal drugs over the counter without a prescription, which is highly dangerous and unethical. This will even allow drugs to be ordered via SMS or by telephone,” he said. “Prof. Senaka Bibile died fighting to regulate the medicinal drugs trade and to make quality drugs affordable to all at affordable prices.

He was keen to see that medicinal drugs are prescribed under their generic name thereby cutting costs by at least 80%. But what the proposed NDCDA will do is to vilify the policies of Prof. Bibile and reverse the cause he fought for all his life,” Mr. Tilakaratne said the method adopted to appoint the officials of the NDCDA had given leverage to corrupt officials to act as they pleased and control the calling of tenders for the purchase of medicinal drugs, their import and distribution.

He said his trade union would submit a comprehensive report to Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena in the belief that he would do what is necessary to save the country from this impending danger and added that the main Bill was still to be discussed and amended by the Cabinet before presenting it in Parliament for approval and that it was high time for all patriotic forces to act before the damage was done.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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