Business Times

Allegations against pharma

industry baseless : Health Minister

Medical representatives of member pharmaceutical companies of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) recently took an oath to abide by the Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices set by the chamber.

The pledge was made at a ceremony held at the BMICH to present the revised ‘Code of Conduct’ to the industry, according to a chamber media release. Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena, who was Chief Guest at the ceremony, said that as much as the ministry requires the assistance of the SLCPI in order to continue a free and independent health service, the chamber too requires the Ministry's assistance for their operations. The minister added that for the country’s health services to be carried out in the right manner, the support of every sector is required.

Remembering the difficult times that the health sector went through immediately after he took office as Minister of Health, especially concerning low quality drugs in the market, Mr Sirisena said there were various public officials at the time, who were quick to point the finger at the pharmaceutical industry. However, he said that upon close investigation, these allegations were found to be baseless and that no such allegations have since been made against pharmaceutical suppliers, according to the media statement.

Speaking at the ceremony, President of the SLCPI Vish Govindasamy said “Providing healthcare needs that ensure the well-being of patients is the fundamental focus of the pharmaceutical industry.”
The integrity of healthcare providers is the core of a trusted healthcare industry and SLCPI has taken the initiative from the late 1980s to establish a code of ethics to the industry in order to maintain the highest standards possible to act in an ethical and professional manner.

The 2012 updated version 3, takes that commitment to a higher level to ensure the industry’s conformance to the pledge. The latest version is based on seven high-level guiding principles for good practice. The healthcare and well-being of patients are the first priority for pharmaceutical companies, according to the code.

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