Government to locally manufacture necessary medicines and save foreign exchange

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Basil Rajapaksa, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation said yesterday (17) that steps will be taken to save foreign exchange by manufacturing needed medicines locally in Sri Lanka.

He said that over the next five years, Sri Lanka will also be brought to the level of major drug exporting countries Ireland, Israel and Singapore.

Speaking at a discussion held at Temple Trees yesterday (17) with ministers and government officials representing the health sector, Basil Rajapaksa said the requirement for medicinal drugs in the country will be met within the next 5 years and the government is focusing on increasing production targeting exports.

The government is already incurring a huge cost to import 85 percent of the local drug requirement. Arrangements are being made to set up factories to cater to local needs and with export capacity by private investors.

“The people who have been given a huge mandate to implement a President’s Vision for Prosperity policies are looking forward to a clear change in the health sector. We look forward to the support of the institutions in the health sector and the export sector to make that difference. Sri Lanka, which was at the forefront of the garment export sector, has the potential to become a leading exporter of pharmaceuticals in the next five years,” the Task Force Chairman said.

Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Minister of Health, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, Minister of State for Pharmaceutical Production and Regulation, Major General Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Prof. Asitha de Silva, Chairman, Drug Regulatory Authority, Dr. Uthpala Indrawansa Chairman, State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation. Dr. Prasanna Gunasena Chairman, State Pharmaceuticals Corporation and a group of government officials were present at this occasion.

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