Several organizations, including a group of doctors, have complained to the Bribery Commission against a tender to purchase 2.5 million vials of the antibiotic cefuroxime.
The trade unions alliance for medical and civil rights of doctors and the other complainants charged the Health Ministry had submitted the tender in disregard of recommendations by the Presidential Secretariat, its public appeals committee and the cabinet.
The ministry is attempting to award the tender without looking into the credentials of the bidders and without calling for a price list, they charged.
As a result, a vial that is priced at 0.25 US dollars will have to be bought at 0.75 USD, thereby causing a loss of around Rs. 500 million to the state, the organizations noted.
They asked the commission to order the suspension of the tender until an investigation is conducted.
The respondents cited are health minister Keheliya Rambukwella, health secretary Janaka Sri Chandragupta, additional secretary Saman Ratnayake and the directors of the Medicines Regulatory Authority.