Health Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said that the prices of 25 essential drugs would be reduced with immediate effect. The Minister was speaking at a ceremony organised by the Health Services Trade Union Federation jointly with the Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Ministry and the World Health Organization to felicitate him on his appointment as Vice Chairman of World Health Organization in Colombo yesterday. He said that prices of several drugs for diabetes, prostrate ailments, ashma, respiratory diseases, neurological disorders, antibiotics and painkillers would be reduced immediately.
The Minister added that 10 varieties of expensive cancer drugs will also be reduced soon. Thousands of patients have been benefitted by the reduction of 48 varieties of essential drugs by Dr.Senaratne in 2016. His decision led to the reduction of 272 drug varieties in the local market under various brand names in 2016. Sri Lanka spends US$ 900 million for the import of essential drugs for local hospitals.