March, 26, 2015
Referring to recent media reports, which pointed towards bribery and corruption involving the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) went on record saying that they wished to clearly distance themselves from such allegations.
The Pharmaceutical Chamber reiterates that it has and will always support the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) as a necessary requirement for the healthcare sector of this country, a fact they say, has been communicated many times to the relevant authorities. “It is regrettable therefore, that the pharmaceutical industry has constantly been on the receiving end of criticism from certain sections of the media and parties with vested interests,” says Dr P. Samarakoon, COO of the SLCPI.
“The SLCPI is aware that there has been a certain NGO, which for some time now have been levelling unfounded allegations against the pharmaceutical industry, creating unnecessary doubts amongst the public. It is one of the primary responsibilities of the pharmaceutical industry to update the advances in therapeutics as well as support medical education programs of healthcare professional bodies, which is an integral part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) towards the healthcare sector,” added the COO.
The SLCPI says that one of the key aspects in the misinformation that has been spread by this NGO is the confusion created in the minds of the patients and policy makers with regard to innovator and generic drugs. Fundamentally, for healthcare to be successful in any country, generic drugs, innovator as well as branded generics have co-exist in harmony, which creates a healthy choice for all stakeholders.
The membership of the SLCPI has suppliers from all three of the abovementioned segments and complies with all government regulations, while maintaining a proper system of checks and balances prior to making these pharmaceuticals available to the end user.
It is unfortunate that the facilities available for testing drugs in Sri Lanka are currently inadequate to prevent spurious drugs, substandard products and smuggled goods from entering the market. It is the view of the Chamber that the NMRA would help to right this situation by establishing state of the art quality control labs, which conform to international standards. The Chamber believes that with the implementation of such facilities, there would be a natural elimination of poor quality manufacturers who might already be registered and are marketing their products in the country. This elimination would automatically reduce the number of pharmaceutical products that currently exists in the market.