Sri Lanka gives 10-year ‘buyback’ deals to local drug makers

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s has given 10-year buyback contracts for businessmen who manufacture drugs in the island, with 22 factories on the pipeline, Deputy Health Minister Faizal Cader said.

Minister Cader told parliament initially that 5-year ‘buyback’ deals were offered with Medical Services Department, but it has now been extended to 10 years.

A deal with a state pharmaceutical company has been extended to 15 years from 10 years, he said.

"We have approved 22 companies by our committee and it has gone to the cabinet for approval," Cader said.

Buyback deals and special privileges given to classes of firms especially ‘local procurement preferences’ are commonly used tactics lobbied by businesses to bypass competitive government procurement policies and grab taxpayer money by selling overpriced goods to the state, critics say.

No mention was made of safeguards, if any, that were in place to prevent overpricing.

The deals come as price controls were slapped on a number of imported drugs, including original drugs on which clinical trials have been conducted (Colombo/Feb14/2017)

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