ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s State Pharmaceuticals Corporation has begun evaluating responses to tenders from suppliers under an Indian credit line ahead of placing orders, General Manager Dinusha Dassanayake said.
SPC started calling tenders from March 31, with 200 million US dollars from the Indian credit line being allocated to purchase medicine needed by the health sector amid worsening shortage of drugs coming from forex shortages coming from money printing.
“Now we are evaluating all the tenders we received from the Indian suppliers,” Dassanayaka told EconomyNex.
“Only after that we will place the orders. We can’t say all 200 million will used at once, however only after the evaluation we will be able to say how much we are ordering.”
Orders could be placed as early as a week from now.
According to the newly appointed Minister of Health, Channa Jayasumana who previously held the State Ministry of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation, the health sector needs about 1,500 drugs and 3,000 surgical and medical items.
He said, the Medical Supply Unit (MSD), has set up a list of essential medicines and surgical equipment for the next year as soon as it became aware that medicines can be available under Indian loan
The Secretary to the Ministry of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation, Saman Rathnayaka told EconomyNext within the next two weeks’ orders for the essential items in the medicine list are expected to be placed.
“When we talk about the essential medical equipment, normally we need around 10-20 of these equipment per month. But When we are ordering it for a year it is hard to find suppliers who can provide us with 100-200 units at once” Rathnayaka said.
“However, the situation has not changed much. With Letters of Credit open for the importers, we are now getting some of the medicines we need. As soon as the Indian banks open LC for their suppliers we will be able to bring in the medicine”.
Since the credit line comes from India, medicines can be bought only by Indian suppliers. They will have the opportunity to open letters of credit (LC) for tender-approved items after the procurement process. (Colombo/ April 18/2022)