The Government is planning to produce 50% of the country’s requirement of pharmaceuticals locally within the next three years, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has stated that the objective is to provide high-quality medicine to the public and the foreign market as well, at affordable prices. All products are made in accordance with the recommendations and standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Further, 85% of the country’s drug requirement is met through imports at an annual cost of Rs.130 billion. Producing pharmaceuticals locally will pave the way to save Rs.60 billion annually, the President said, adding that the country will be able to achieve these goals.
The President made these remarks during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday (10) with regard to the plans of the State Ministry of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation.
Sri Lanka is currently the largest importer of drugs in the Asian region, President Rajapaksa has stressed, while noting that it was high time to turn the tables added that large scale local investors are willing to contribute to this effort.
An investment zone of 400 acres is to be established in the Hambantota Industrial Zone for manufacturing medicine targeting the global market.
The world’s topmost pharmaceutical companies have already expressed their inclination to join this venture. There is a huge demand for pharmaceuticals in the African and Southeast Asian region and it is a goal to grab those market opportunities.
Government is committed to improve the public sector as well as to promote the entrepreneurs in the private sector. The President made an open invitation to all the pharmaceutical importers to invest in manufacturing medicine locally.
An investment zone for local investors is to be established in a 100-acre land at Oyamaduwa, Anuradhapura.
Twenty-five medium scale businessmen are prepared to invest a sum of USD 300 million in this endeavour.
A considerable improvement is evident in local pharmaceutical production owing to the efforts of the incumbent government. It has been revealed that currently there is no shortage of essential medicine within the country.
Producing a new medicine each month had already been commenced. The target is to elevate this practice in the future to, one new medicine every fortnight.