ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government on Tuesday said the deleted National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) data are not a risk as no important data have been removed from the system.
Channa Jayasumana, the State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, responding to a question raised by the opposition in parliament said there is no file related to new chemicals with patent rights among a total of 5,925 files that have been deleted.
“There is no harm for the data related to registration certificates and licences,” Jayasumana told parliament on Tuesday (21).
“There is no risk of lower quality drugs or drugs based fraudulent documents or the same drug in several other names being released to the market.”
“People need not have any unnecessary fear about drug shortages throughout the country or of any import of lower quality drugs.”
Local media, quoting industry sources last month, reported a loss of an estimated two terabytes—or 2,000 gigabytes—of classified information from the Lanka Government Cloud (LGC), which risks endangering the business relationships of local drug companies with their foreign principals.
Epic Lanka Technologies, the company responsible for digitalising the documentation and workflow in the NMRA (eNMRA) since 2018, has been blamed for the data loss, while a top official of the company being arrested after the initial inquiry.
“The CID is investigating who is behind this racket,” Jayasumana said.
“Since the start, the eNMRA network has been a crippled and unorganised network without a proper process.”
“Many stakeholders told me that this eNMRA network is a failed one and that they can’t work.”
Jayasumana said the data deleted were related to 35 drugs which were bought at a higher price than the import price by the previous government and the incumbent government had already informed the CID to investigate the discrepancies in the prices.
However, former Health Minister Rajitha Senarathne rejected the allegation.
“This is a baseless allegation. In fact, this government increased the drug prices which we reduced,” he told EconomyNext. (Colombo/Sep21/2021)