Health Minister vows to name Drug Mafiosi


By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday threatened to publicise the names of the Drug Mafia responsible for sabotaging attempts to introduce a price control mechanism for all pharmaceuticals.

Minister Sirisena told The Island that though the Health Ministry in collaboration with the Consumer Affairs Authority wanted to introduce a price control mechanism, elements behind the drug mafia had blocked its implementation.

People who patronised mushrooming pharmacies to purchase medicinal drugs were fleeced, the Health Minister said. In most cases, the same drug was sold at different prices.

Minister Sirisena said he had ascertained vital information about the members of the Drug Mafia and their collaborators in the state sector responsible for blocking the implementation of the price control mechanism.

The minister said one way of dealing with the Drug Mafia and its hirelings in the garb of bureaucrats was to name and shame them. The people, he said, had a right to know the truth and the government would never give in to the Drug Mafia.

The government’s anti-tobacco campaign had also come in for stiff resistance but it had overcome all obstacles and achieved its objective, Minister  Sirisena said.

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