ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s State Pharmaceuticals Corporation is continuing to import drugs to maintain ensure supplies using credit lines, but there are clearing delays at the port at times, Chairman Sarath Liyanage said.
“Currently, we have almost all of our essential drugs and 136 consignments of drugs are currently pending approval at the ports,” Liyanage said.
It took time to clear drugs because approvals were needed from the Import and Export Control Department and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority, he said.
Sri Lanka is facing drug shortages after forex shortages in 2022 disrupted the ordering process, prices shot up as the rupee collapsed.
The SPC had used 200 million US dollars from a billion-dollar credit line given by India, Liyanage said.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank had also offered a credit for pharmaceutical imports.
The Osu Sala had received 37 million dollars, he said.
Last week Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said there was a shortfall of 111 drugs but it was expected to fall to 70 in a week. (Colombo/June05/2023)