Tender procedures waived for local drug producers

By Don Asoka Wijewardena 

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the purchase of drugs produced locally directly without any tender procedures.

 Minister Sirisena yesterday told The Island that previously the local drug manufacturers had been compelled to compete with their international counterparts to supply drugs to the government. As the local manufacturers produced only 52 kinds of drugs, they could not win bids in competition with the international bidders. As a result the local manufacturers had been placed at a disadvantage, the Minister said.

 There had been many complaints from the local manufacturers that they were discouraged and could not carry on their businesses any longer, Minister Sirisena said. Having understood the gravity of the situation he had instructed the relevant authorities to directly purchase the required drugs from the local manufacturers without any tender procedures, he said.

Minister Sirisena added that the government intended to encourage more and more local manufacturers and investors to produce drugs locally by investing in constructing modern manufacturing facilities at the Kurunegala Drug Manufacturing Site. The government wished to purchase the maximum quantity of drugs from the local companies and the rest would be purchased through the international drug companies, the Minister said, adding that under no circumstances would the quality of the drugs be compromised.

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