All prescriptions of private doctors cannot be met in Parliament – Rajitha

Free drugs for MPs


by Zacki Jabbar

Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday that there were no grounds for MPs to complain about the quality of medicinal drugs provided to them free of charge at the parliamentary complex since the pharmaceuticals were of excellent quality.

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne, addressing the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing in Colombo, said complaints received from some MPs that medicines issued to them were substandard, were not correct, because they had been proved to be safe and effective.

"If an MP or Minister comes with a prescription given by a private doctor and demands that a particular branded drug be provided, it may not be possible to meet such requests," Minister Senaratne noted, adding that the medicines provided by Parliament were the same as those given to the public at the state-run hospitals.

Senaratne said that critics including some in the media had alleged that particular types of drugs were not available in the market without being able to differentiate between generic and branded names.

The prices of 46 essential medicines had been reduced, including some by a huge percentage within the last few months.Further relied would be provided to patients, he added.

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