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Sri Lanka pharma firms say no shortage of drugs, not to panic buy

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s pharmaceuticals firms said there is no shortage of drugs in the country and urged the public not to engage in panic buying after two domestically transmitted cases of Coronavirus was discovered.

“There is currently enough stock to meet three months of normal demand and we will make sure that the supply chain is not disrupted,” Kasturi Chellaraja, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) said in a statement.

“We need to be sensible and judicious in our reaction to the current situation and not panic.”

The pharma chamber said they were urging calm because there were reports from pharmacies that some customers were buying up two to three months of drugs.

Pharma firms store drugs in specially built warehouses.

Incorrectly overstocking medicines at home can affect the efficacy of medicines she said.

“For example, cartons protect the product from light which can otherwise degrade the product; sometimes desiccants are used to protect the product from moisture,” she said.

“Sri Lanka is a small market and the excellent relationships that our Chamber members have with multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers worldwide, will ensure that we will not run out of stock,” Chellaraja said.

The chamber was monitoring supply chains and was confident there would be no interruption.

Europe was the largest manufacturer of drugs and Sri Lanka imported pharmaceuticals mostly from India. Despite China making about 60 percent of the raw material, the risk of Sri Lanka running out of medicines is slim, the chamber said. (Colombo/Mar13/2020)

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