Updated on 3 August 2012
There is also an increased focus on ensuring timely delivery of medicines to public hospitals. Following the recommendations of Minister of Health Mr Maithripala Sirisena, in March 2012, the government decided on a drugs review committee and procurement planning committee to assess medicine consumption patterns, drug stock level and medicine prices. This information will help in the calculation of drug requirements and plan procurement.
Business of the future
The government is keen on developing the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in the country as a strategic import replacement enterprise by granting tax holidays for investment in the pharmaceuticals production in this year's budget. Following an approval by the Cabinet recently to establish a pharmaceutical manufacturing zone, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has begun preliminary work on developing the country's first pharmaceutical manufacturing zone by mapping out the first steps in developing the 48 acre plot near Kurunegala in the North Western province. Over 10 reputed pharmaceutical manufacturers have expressed their willingness to invest in this zone.
Taking advantage of the developments, the international pharmaceutical manufacturing firm GlaxoSmithKline launched Sri Lanka's first-ever solid pharma production facility in April at Moratuwa. The new facility, equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, will produce 2.5 billion Panadol brand of paracetamol tablets annually. The new manufacturing unit will help stabilize domestic prices. With this launch, Sri Lanka has entered the pharmaceutical manufacturing arena, and showing investor confidence in pharmaceutical sector.
Even China, a fast developing pharmaceutical market in the world, is keen on investing in Sri Lanka, as it was discussed during the latest interaction between the new Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mr Wu Jianghao and Minister of Economic Development Mr Basil Rajapakse.