An Echelon Media Company
Thursday March 23rd, 2023

Sri Lanka hopes to ease medicine shortages as more supplies come in

Sri Lanka’s health sector priority is to make drugs available than making them at affordable price

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is expecting to ease a medicine shortage by next month with more supplies coming in from orders placed through an Indian credit line, as well as funds from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and World Bank, health officials said.

Sri Lanka’s medical supplies were disrupted in 2022 following the worst currency crises in the history of the island’s intermediate regime central bank as the country lost the ability to pay regular suppliers and private importers also could not open letters of credit or pay for earlier imports.

Sri Lanka’s State Pharmaceuticals Corporation is getting more supplies including 14 vital medicines that were short a few months back.

“So far we have purchased 267 medicine items as of February 01,” Dinusha Dassanayake, the General manager of SPC told EconomyNext.

“We have so far received 303 medicine consignments including 112 surgical supply consignments and we have purchased 267 medicine items as of February 01,”

India came forward last year with the credit line, but ordering and getting medicines takes time.

“Of the 200 million US dollar credit line we received from India, we got approval for 96.7 million US dollars,” Dassanayake said.

“And we have placed orders for 862 pharmaceuticals and 1,596 surgical items

“We hope to receive it by next April or May.”

The shortage of essential medicine lists has dropped to 155 from 169 as the medicines started coming in to the country, SPC Chairman, Sarath Liyanage said.

He said funds are also being allocated from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the World Bank as well as other financial institutions.

Also, the country has adequate amount of drugs or the next six months, and measures have been taken to secure more stocks, a health official from the Ministry of Health said.

Before crisis Sri Lanka usually had several months of supply of each stock, which were run down as money printing created forex shortages.

Drugs that are short in one month are not the same that are short the next month. But supplies of some drugs have now been built up for six months, a Health Ministry official said.

“Last month we didn’t receive an allocated amount of drugs but now we are in a process of receiving the drugs,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Spokesman Minster Bandula Gunawardana on Tuesday said the current drug shortage is partially due to a delay of the medicines regulator.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Spokesman Minster Bandula Gunawardana said the current drug shortage is partly due to a delay of the medicines regulator.

“When the harbour release medicine consignments, they always have to get the approval of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority,” Gunawardana said.

“The regulations and methods that they practise throughout this period will not be changed due to a medicine shortage.” (Colombo/ Feb 02/2023)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka establishes committee to investigate aircraft incidents

An aircraft lands at the Jaffna International Airport, which was opened in October 2019 and promises to push the tourism frontiers in Jaffna.

ECONOMYNEXT: Sri Lanka’s has established an expert committee under the state-run Civil Aviation Authority to investigate aircraft accidents and to implement precautionary methods in the Sri Lankan airspace, an Official said.

“Even if it is only one flight, there is a chance an accident may occur,” Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, Director General, P. A. Jayakantha said.

“This particular committee is there to investigate aircraft accidents and act as a mechanism to take over if something goes wrong”.

Sri Lanka has encountered around 2,700 minor aircraft accidents and incidents mostly on the ground in the 19 years through 2021, the CAA annual reports showed.

The new committee will analyze the past accidents and take precautionary measures while also conducting investigations and provide independent reports in the future, Jayakantha said.

The team is provided with required training and qualifications by the CAA along with an International organization, free of charge.

“Internationally also it is a requirement to have a team to investigate the aircraft accidents,” Jayakantha added.

“For a long time we have not fulfilled this requirement and that is why we established this team with the cabinet approval. Moreover, recently, Sri Lanka’s two aircrafts, one training aircraft and a commercial aircraft met an accident”

The committee will be on active duty, until the Accident Investigation Act is passed and a proper Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation Bureau is established. (Colombo/ Mar23/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka bond yields steady, Rupee 319/325 at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s treasury bond yields closed steady on Thursday while rupee closed weaker, dealers said.

A 01.07.2025 bond closed at 30.60/31.00 percent on Tuesday, down from 30.25/75 percent on Wednesday.

A 15.09.2027 bond closed at 27.80/28.10 percent, steady from 27.90/28.00 percent from Wednesday.

Sri Lanka rupee closed at 319/325 against the US dollar depreciating from 318/320 from a day earlier. (Colombo/ March23/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka shares dive to two-week low on local debt restructuring fears

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka market fell for a fourth session to a two-week low on Thursday, led by financials, as worries over domestic debt restructuring continued after the IMF loan was approved earlier this week resulting in investors adopting a wait-and-see approach until further clarity was provided, analysts said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed down 1.38 percent or 131.07 points to 9,395.98, lowest since March 02.

Analysts said, majority of the banks have been on slower investment trends on fears of domestic debt restructuring after the IMF approval and waiting for more clarity on the local debt restructuring.

“The market is on muted sentiments despite the IMF loan being approved and is going through a period of consolidation,” Ranjan Ranatunga of First Capital Holdings said.

The market saw a net foreign outflow of 298 million rupees and the total offshore inflows recorded so far in 2023 to 3.3 billion rupees.

The most liquid index, S&P SL20, closed 1.64 percent, or 45.33 points, down at 2,722.94.

The market saw a turnover of 3.4 billion rupees on Thursday, above this year’s daily average of 1.8 billion rupees.

This is the highest turnover generated since March 08, which is when the market was driven off of positive sentiments from International Monetary Fund deal hope after Chinese assurances.

Top contributors to revenue was Agalawatte Plantations, on off board transactions of a stake change, contributing revenue of 1.6 billion rupees, Ranatunga said.

Top contributors to revenue industry wise was Food and Beverage and Telecommunications.

Sri Lanka Telecom has been seeing positive uptrends as the Secretary to the Treasury has informed the Board of Directors of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) and Lanka Hospitals PLC that the Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval in principle for the divestment of the stakes held by the Treasury Secretary in the two companies.

Top losers were Sampath Bank, Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank.

Sri Lanka is looking at options to re-structure domestic debt, or local law local currency debt (LLLC), without harming the banking sector and announce them the International Monetary Fund said in a report.

Banks have been witnessing profit taking and selling pressures after continuous uptrends prior to the IMF loan had been approved.

Analysts said, selling pressures is expected to ease as the IMF hopes to reduce inflationary pressures which will in turn lead to reductions in interest rates. (Colombo/Mar23/2023)

Continue Reading