- Importers request that the prices of 71 price-controlled molecules inclusive of 10 cancer molecules to be adjusted to ensure continued availability
- NCD’s account for 80% of Sri Lankan deaths; continued import of essential medicines is critical
The Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) has commended the Ministry of Health’s decision to increase the control price of Paracetamol. At the same time, the SLCPI also requested policymakers to adjust the price of other essential medicines currently under price control, to ensure continued availability of these drugs in the market.
In this context, the SLCPI anticipates an urgent upward price adjustment of 18% on all Price Controlled products as per a written request made to the Chairman of the pricing committee of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority on 1st September 2021.
“Paracetamol is widely used to treat symptoms of the Omicron variant and Dengue, both of which are growing health concerns in the country. An increase in the control price makes it possible for importers and local manufacturers to ensure that the drug does not go out of stock in pharmacies”, said the Chamber. It will now cost Rs. 2.30 per tablet, up from Rs. 1.71 – a 35% increase.
The SLCPI is also worried about continued access for patients to therapies that treat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. NCDs cause over 80% of all deaths in Sri Lanka.
SLCPI pointed out that importation of essential and lifesaving medicines continues to be challenging, given Sri Lanka’s current macro-economic realities and price increases in global raw material (API – Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient). A depreciating rupee, increasing logistics costs, and inflation have compounded high import costs.
“85% of pharmaceutical products consumed in the country are imported. All essential drugs have been under price control since October 2016 onwards, without an equitable and transparent pricing mechanism. Steep changes in exchange rate need to be adjusted through a sustainable pricing mechanism.” officials at SLCPI pointed out.
Highlighting patient needs and well-being as the industry’s most critical priority, the Chamber requested authorities to consider designing and implementing a pricing mechanism that would periodically review market prices, import costs and other relevant access issues to prevent medicine shortages.
Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI):
SLCPI serves as the representative of over 60 members who account for more than 80% of the private pharmaceutical industry, spanning manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers. These stakeholders supply Sri Lankan patients with 1200 molecules from 435 manufacturers from across the world.
For media inquiries for the Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry, please contact:
Cathrina Chang | [email protected] | T: 0117444166; Ext: 103 / M: +94766324354.