The government has assured that there is no risk of prices of medical drugs increasing or blacklisted companies being able to import drugs following the disappearance of 5,925 files from the database of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority.
State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Channa Jayasumana in Parliament confirmed that 5,925 files have disappeared from the NMRA database.
State Minister Jayasumana said among the files disappeared, 3,137 were files related to the registration or re-registration of pharmacies.
He added files related to new chemical entities have not disappeared.
State Minister Jayasumana said therefore there is no risk of drug prices going up, or companies being able to import blacklisted drugs under different names.
In response to a question raised by the opposition, State Minister Jayasumana noted that although the ‘drug mafia’ was flourishing during the 2015 to 2019 period, activities of such groups were brought to a halt after the present government came into power.
He said the companies that are part of the ‘drug mafia’ were prevented from bringing down drugs under various names or gain exorbitant profits.
State Minister Channa Jayasumana said the deletion of NMRA data could be part of a conspiracy hatched by the “drug mafia”.
He said it could be that they were frustrated and they decided to attack the NMRA database.
State Minister Channa Jayasumana noted that the Criminal Investigation Department is conducting a probe to identify the perpetrators behind the incident.
The disappearance of files from the Lanka Government Cloud was first discovered on the 9th of July when a NMRA employee checking for supporting documentation related to an application found it missing.
During a recent court hearing it was revealed that the Information and Communication Technology Agency together with a group of experts from the University of Moratuwa are trying to restore the missing data.
The CID informed court that snapshots of the NMRA data along with historical logs have been obtained for examination.
However, the erased data files are yet to be recovered.
The CID also arrested the Chief Executive Officer of the company that maintained the NMRA database part of the probe and produced him in court.