The use of an Indian-made anaesthetic, Bupivacaine, has been suspended from use following two deaths of patients after being administered with the drug, said the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA).
Both fatalities were women, reported from Perdeniya Teaching Hospital within a space of months.
One was administered Bupivacaine for hernia surgery, while the other was admitted to hospital to deliver a child.
Meanwhile, health sector trade unionist Ravi Kumudesh said the Medicines Regulatory Authority has around 3,000 applications for medicines registration piled up, with some unattended to for more than five years.
He also alleged a severe shortage of staff, saying the Authority needing 126 professionals was run by 37 juniors.
It has worsened to such an extent that the national medicines quality control laboratory has left with just five experts, he said.
Various committees functioning in the institution are being brought under its CEO, Kumudesh charged.