Concerns Over Quality Of Imported Drugs
By: Chrishanthi Christopher: The Sunday Leader
Last week the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) and the private pharmaceutical drug importers were at logger heads over the low quality pharmaceutical drugs flooding the local market.
This comes in the wake of the Sri Lanka Medical Practitioners Association calling for a quality assurance lab to test all imported drugs claiming that all low quality pharmaceutical products enter the country because of the lack of quality testing. The SPC alleges that 90 percent of the pharmaceutical drugs imported into the country are from India and that none of the drugs undergo any quality assurance test. “In the private sector nothing is tested” re-affirms SPC Chairman, Prof. S. D. Jayaratne.
“The whole system needs to be revamped and we need to expand the quality assurance lab to test all pharmaceutical drugs that are imported into the country” said Jayaratne.
Jayaratne said that all exporters have to be screened and their credentials as exporters examined in keeping with the ‘government procurement guidelines’ before any drug manufactured by that company is allowed into the country.
Jayaratne lamented that all pharmaceutical drugs imported by the government also do not pass the quality assurance test due to the lack of facilities. “We do only random testing due to want of a larger and able quality assurance lab,” he said. Jayaratne claimed that Sri Lanka imports over Rs.15 billion worth of drugs annually and that due to lack of facilities many drugs are not subjected to the National Quality Assurance Test resulting in many low quality and sometimes harmful drugs flooding the market.