NMDRA heads to ‘roll back’?

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Following news reports that heads had rolled at the National Medicinal Drugs regulatory Authority (NMDRA) last week, the Health Ministry yesterday accused the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) of spreading false rumours to that effect.

Health Ministry Spokesman, Nipun Ekanayake clarifying the Ministry’s position said Health Minister, Dr Rajitha Senaratne was yet to take a decision on the resignation letters tendered by the Chairman Prof Lal Jayakody and the CEO Prof. Krishantha Weerasuriya.

There had been gross delays and severe shortcomings in executing the responsibilities of NMDRA which were to formulate regulations and policies to reduce prices of medicinal drugs and obtain best value for money. The Minister on several occasions instructed the authority to get its act together. Special discussions had been held on several occasions between him and the Chairman, CEO and board members of the NMDRA to sort out the issues.

Ekanayake said that during the meeting last Friday (05) the NMDRA officials had pledged to overcome shortcomings on their part.

The Minister had impressed upon them the need for providing cost effective quality medicinal drugs without delay. The authority should ensure the drugs were registered on time and purchasing permission granted without delay. The Chairman and the CEO had inquired whether their resignation letters had been accepted. The Minister had informed them that he would take a decision regarding the issue in the near future, the Health Ministry spokesman said.

Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Nalinda Herath when contacted however, expressed concern over the Health Ministry’s accusations. No press release had been issued and no media briefing held in this regard, he said. The Health Minister has made a mistake, he said.

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