A Minister assured yesterday he would actively lobby among ministers and Members of Parliament to get the draft legislation for a National Medicinal Drugs Policy (MNDP) tabled in Parliament during the Budget debate.
National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the delay in implementing this vital policy to provide quality drugs to all people at affordable prices was causing the deaths of several people who were denied access to essential or life-saving drugs.
In a hard-hitting speech at the meeting held at the auditorium of the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) Colombo, the Minister said he believed that once the MNDP Bill was tabled in Parliament he was sure that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government would get it approved and implemented effectively.
Chinta Abeywardena, former Chief Pharmacist of the Drug Regulatory Authority said pharmacists in Sri Lanka were down-graded or devalued by other medical groups and this had led to confusion if not chaos in the pharmacy networks.
Ms. Abeywardena who has decades of experience made a shocking disclosure that hundreds of pharmaciess were running illegally because they were working without a pharmacist, and many of them were selling low standard or dangerous baggage drugs smuggled in from India.
Eminent physician Prof. Carlo Fonseka neutritionist Dr. Damayanthi Perera and Gynaecologist Dr. L.A.W. Sirisena were among those present at the meeting.