Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella says the importation of medicines under Indian loan facilities will be completed under Cabinet approval and via a transparent procurement process.
The Minister said the investigation of the Indian Kausikh Therapeutics Pvt. Ltd drug production was also completed under the same process.
Minister Rambukwella speaking at a media briefing today (28) said, medicines cannot be bought in the same manned as sugar, dhal, or rice adding that a standardised process is in place.
The Minister said along with ordering medicines, a certain period must be granted to companies related to the production of medicines which in some cases requires four to five months.
He stated, after the production of medicines, they cannot be kept similar to other products.
The Minister said in the recent past, certain media acted maliciously over the process of importing medicines under Indian loan facilities adding that the facts are devoid of truth, especially in relation to the Cabinet Paper.
The Minister said media claimed that the President and the Cabinet were bypassed and the process approved adding that the process received due Cabinet approval.
He noted that after being declared a bankrupt country, India granted Sri Lanka USD 1 billion to be used for emergencies of which USD 200 million was granted to the health sector in April.
The Health Minister said the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank granted Sri Lanka USD 100 million, the Asian Development Bank USD 67 million and China USD 28 million.
He claimed that in the event of a sugar, dhal, or rice shortage in the country the Minister of Trade can overcome the shortage during a short time span.
However, the Minister said the same cannot be done with medicines adding that the National Medicines Regulatory Authority must engage in matters in orderly fashion.