SLPMA celebrates 65 years of local pharmaceutical production | Daily News

SLPMA celebrates 65 years of local pharmaceutical production

Chairman Navesta Pharmaceuticals Sanjaya Jayaratne
Chairman Navesta Pharmaceuticals Sanjaya Jayaratne

Sri Lanka celebrates 65 years of local pharmaceuticals production since the first manufacturing plant was opened in 1956, the Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (SLPMA) announced recently.

Ten private sector local manufacturers of pharmaceutical bearing SLPMA membership currently manufacture and supply pharmaceuticals for the Ministry of Health under a Guaranteed Buy Back Scheme, with 24% of all medicines in outpatient departments (OPDs) of government hospitals now supplied by them; helping the country save USD 30 million annually in foreign exchange spent on imports.

Sri Lankan private sector local pharmaceutical manufacturers currently produce 88 essential drugs under the Guaranteed Buy Back Scheme (GBBA) introduced in 2014 by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Industries under the leadership of present Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, fulfilling over 15% of the local requirement for essential drugs. They also export pharmaceuticals worth USD 10 million annually.

Members of the SLPMA are now targeting the completion of 50% of the local pharmaceutical requirement within the country by the year 2025. Local pharmaceutical manufacturers aim to produce over 300 essential drugs saving the country an estimated USD 100 million annually in foreign exchange, while also targeting annual export earnings of USD 100 million by that period and USD 1 billion by 2030.

Chairman of Navesta Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd Sanjaya Jayaratne, and President of SLPMA commented on this important milestone.

“As local manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, we are proud to have been of service to the nation for 65 years, and are committed to ensure the availability of essential drugs, saving on foreign exchange. A self-sufficient local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is vital in this regard, and we are most thankful for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for initiating the concept of the Guaranteed Buy Back Scheme.”

“The SLPMA will support the government in securing high quality medicines ata more affordable price, by investing approximately LKR 20 billion, in state of the art privately owned manufacturing facilities, enhancing the economic value addition to the Sri Lankan economy.”