We, doctors are very grateful to the President, who is always aware
of the heart beat of the Sri Lankans, for taking the correct decision at
the correct time, to give the doctors, the freedom to prescribe drugs to
their patients, using generic names or brand names depending on the
clinical status of the patients.
As the readers are aware, prior to the President taking the above
decision, there was utter chaos and confusion among doctors, patients
and pharmacists, following the sudden decision, taken by the Health
Ministry to force all the Sri Lankan doctors to prescribe all drugs,
using only generic names.
I am sure that above decision by Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition
(who is one of the most efficient Health Ministers we had during the
last 45 years) had been influenced by a very senior physiologist and a
senior pharmacologist serving an NGO, who have completely ignored the
key stake-holders namely the patients and the practising doctors, when
they took the unilateral decision to force the doctors to prescribe
drugs, using only generic names, little knowing that there are less than
100 generic drugs in Sri Lanka and that over 99.5 per cent of all drugs
available in our pharmacies are brand drugs.
It is noteworthy that even during late Prof. Senaka Bibileís time,
all attempts by the non-practising academicians to convince the then
Health Minister (Siva Obeysekera) to force doctors to prescribe drugs
using generic names failed miserably.
Even after the untimely death of Prof. Bibile, all attempts by the
very senior physiologist and the senior pharmacologist serving a rich
NGO failed during the period 1978 to 2007 December and above two
academicians were unsuccessful in convincing the Health Ministers during
above period and getting the practising doctors to prescribe drugs using
only generic names.
It is a fact that in none of the developing and developed democratic
countries in the world, none of the Health Ministers have ever tried to
force doctors to prescribe drugs using only the generic names, up to
January 01, 2008, when above politically motivated academicians, tried
their best to force all the Sri Lankan doctors to give a dose of late
Professor Bibileís 45 year old outdated list of essential drugs.
We doctors have to be influenced by academicians who havenít written
any prescription during the last 40 to 50 years and who have never done
a clinical ward round after their 12 months of Internship.
We doctors like to prescribe the most effective generics and brand
drugs to our patients and we donít like to do experiments with our
patients using ineffective brand drugs (of which there are thousands of
such drugs in the pharmacies).
We practising doctors donít like to get pharmacology lessons from a
We doctors are not there to solve the population problem for the Sri
Lankan Government by prescribing ineffective generics and ineffective
Some academicians judge all doctors by their own poor standards and
spread (false) rumours that doctors who prescribe expensive drugs to get
a portion of the profits, the pharmacies make.
As far as I am aware, all doctors are very honourable and they do
their best for their patients.
The pharmaceutical firms are doing a business and make profits and a
portion of the profits is spent for the healthcare of patients.
All the major national and international medical conferences held in
Sri Lanka such as annual sessions of Sri Lanka Medical Association,
College of Physicians, and all the annual conferences such as neurology
sessions, Sri Lanka Heart Association annual sessions etc. are all
sponsored by the pharmaceutical firms and the Ministry of Health do not
spend a single cent for above conferences.
To cite just one example, the 5th SAARC Congress of Cardiology and
our scientific sessions of Sri Lanka Heart Association from February 29
to March 2 will cost more than six million rupees and about 95 per cent
of the money is spent by the pharmaceutical trade and we donít get any
help from the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition or from any NGOs or
any generic firms.
When I was working as a cardiologist in the Institute of Cardiology,
(1973 to 1996) we were able to maintain a very high standard of the
Institute, thanks to the generous donations of the pharmaceutical firms.
This is how the grand drug firms help the medical profession.
It is noteworthy that none of the generic drug firms ever helped us
for any of our conferences. (except for donating a few cheap low quality
prescription pads to some doctors by one of the generic drug firms).
I would like to thank the President and all concerned for the correct
decision to remove all the restrictions in writing our prescriptions to
our patients who I am sure will be very grateful to the President
DR. D. P. ATUKORALE
To the kind attention of the Secretary to the President and Defense
Secretary to arrange door to door quick service after retirement or
death of Armed Forces and Police Personnel who apply for pension or
compensation or alternative to official residence, either separate
quarters or low rent houses.
To encourage young boys and girls to join the Armed Services and
Police Department, we will have to give a clear message to them on how
they will be treated when they retire from service.
In order to pass this message, when an Armed Serviceman or Police
officer retires or dies, the particular department will have to nominate
a minimum of two officers specially from its Welfare Society and
coordinate with the Departments and with the retired officer or with the
family and door to door service to speed up the payment of pension or
compensation without any delay.
At present many officers, their families are facing enormous problems
to get their dues due to red tape within the Department.
If the retired officer is out of the Colombo area, it should be
coordinated with the Chief of the Armed Forces/ OIC of the area.
- Colombo 3
Kandy adored by many all over the universe and the last bastion to
fall under the British Empire in 1815 is in a very deplorable state of
affairs. This one time living beauty has become an orphan, as it seems
this city has become Ďnobody wants me, I am no bodyís childí.
The beauty and splendour of the lake has disappeared and the roads
round the lake and city are dotted with pot-holes. This famous city has
become a breeding place for mosquitoes during the rainy season.
This one time ancient capital has been declared a sacred city as many
ancient buildings have been also declared world heritage sites. I wonder
whether world heritage gives any financial support for the upkeep of the
buildings declared by them.
This city has the most number of liquor bars and places of ill-fame
under the guise of guest houses, inns and motels.
The drains along the Anniewatte tunnel and all over the city are
clogged and during the rainy season, vehicles are unable to use this
tunnel as a stream of mud and stones fall from the upper section of the
tunnel. The main reason for this is due to the unauthorised
constructions which take place very blatantly.
The bylanes are illegally conquered by street hawkers and it seems
the three-wheelers act and behave as if the road belonged to their
forefathers. However President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to hold the
SAARC Summit in Kandy this July.
I personally feel this is a blessing in disguise to all frustrated
residents of Kandy, as the orphans who are supposed to be looked after
by an elected council are heavily indebted, as their last budget is
allegedly having a deficit of Rs.740 million according to a recent
I hope and pray that we will be rescued even at this late stage. if
not I am ashamed to say that the next international conferences for
dengue, clogged drains, pot-holes and unauthorised structures will be
held without any doubt in Kandy. Let us keep Kandy clean and beautiful.
LI KUANG SHU