ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is to set up a pharmaceutical manufacturing zone close to the southern in Hambantota port to make active pharmaceutical ingredients, known as APIs, the chemicals or biologically active components used to produce drugs.
The state information office said an extent of 200 acres in the Hambantota area will be earmarked for the manufacture of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and finished formulations.
The Cabinet of Ministers last week approved a proposal for the project by Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine, a statement said.
Around 70 percent of the cost of production of locally made drugs is spent for APIs.
The State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) and private manufacturers produce around two billion units of pharmaceuticals annually required for local use, enough only to meet 12 percent of the market demand.
The balance required medicinal drugs are imported at a cost of around 500 million US dollars annually.
The government has said it wants to attract investors to make APIs but the zone would be government-controlled to tackle pollution from API production.
(COLOMBO, March 04, 2019-SB)