An expert on medicines and health management, Dr. Sanjaya Perera, says he believes there are substandard medicines in use in Sri Lanka.
A consultant and resource person at John Hopkins University, he told Neth News that a seven year study done by him from 2015 found that a certain institution had taken imported medicines out of use more regularly.
According to him, the health sector is having officials who aid the medicines mafia.
Meanwhile, health trade unionist Ravi Kumudesh said the SPMC had supplied a particular medicine that had been shelved after being found to be mostly of low quality.
The Health Ministry recently suspended the use of 35 batches of flicloxacillin 500 mg capsules.
Kumudesh recalled 69 instances in 2023 alone, in which medicines had been taken out of use.
Forty batches of these suspended medicines had been supplied by the SPMC, he noted.
The TU leader said it was unfortunate that a dialogue was avoided on a decision to import medicines only from Europe, after painting a wrong picture on medicines manufactured locally and in India.
However, India and Bangladesh export high-quality medicines to the US and Europe. When only substandard ones arrive in Sri Lanka, it shows an issue over our choice, he said.
There is no alternative but to boost local production of medicines, said, adding the government and the Health Ministry should pay more attention to this need.