Minister accepts criticism made about draft drug policy Bill

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Constructive criticism made by Prof. Lal Jayakody was extremely important to streamline the drug policy draft bill, said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday.

The Minister made the observation in response to shortcomings in the draft bill spotlighted by Prof. Jayakoday of the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena told The Island that to administer the National Medicinal Drugs and Cosmetic Devices Act, the National Medicinal Drugs, Devices and Cosmetic Regulatory Authority would be set up.

He said that the main objectives of the NMDDCRA would be to ensure the availability of safe, efficacious and quality medicinal drugs, safe effective and acceptable quality devices and safe and acceptable quality cosmetics to the general public at affordable prices.

In keeping with the late Prof. Seneka Bilile’s policy, the authority would function as the central regulator for all matters involved in importing, manufacturing, storing, selling, distributing, exhibiting, disposing, transporting and registering of medicinal drugs, devices, cosmetics and investigational medicinal products, Minister Sirisena stressed.

When asked whether Sri Lanka would establish drug manufacturing facilities, Minister said that the draft Bill mentioned that Sri Lanka would promote and encourage the manufacturing of medicinal drugs in Sri Lanka.

The government would also construct drug manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka, he added.

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