Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has directed the National Drug Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to put an end to the existing monopoly in the supply of certain drugs.
The directive was issued during a discussion held today (01) with officials from various healthcare institutions, including the National Drugs Regulatory Authority, State Drugs Regulatory Corporation, State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation, Medical Supply Division and the Asian Development Bank.
During the discussions, the Minister highlighted the serious problems associated with relying on a single supplier for certain medicines. To avoid such problems, he urged the authorities to distribute procurement contracts among multiple qualified suppliers.
The Minister also emphasized the need to increase the number of qualified registered suppliers for each drug, introducing competition to control issues such as drug shortages and rising prices.
Minister Rambukwella further instructed the NMRA to expedite the process by adhering to the necessary rules and procedures, particularly for suppliers who meet the required qualifications.
Besides, the Ministry of Health was tasked with formulating a policy to ensure that life-saving and essential medicines are adequately stocked in the Medical Supplies Division, while maintaining a one-year supply. (Sheain Fernandopulle)