ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government-owned State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) is facing black listing from foreign companies after the SPC failed to settle its dug import bills for the last four months, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday (16).
Sri Lanka’s dollar shortage has forced it to reduce imports of medicines including some essential and life saving drugs.
Wickremesinghe said there is a severe shortage of a number of medicines including drugs required for heart disease as well as surgical equipment.
“Payments have not been made for four months to suppliers of medicine, medical equipment, and food for patients. The payment owed to them amounts to 34 billion rupees,” he said.
“In addition, payments have not been made for four months for medicine imported by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation. As a result, (foreign) pharmaceutical companies are taking steps to blacklist the SPC.”
As a result, tyhe Medical Supplies Division (MSD) under the Health Ministry is unable to provide even two critical items of the 14 essential medicines that the country currently needed, he said.
“These two are a medicine used in treating heart disease and the anti-rabies vaccine. The latter has no alternative treatment.” (Colombo/May17/2022)