Meeting at SPC to resolve unpaid pharma bills issue | Daily News


 

Meeting at SPC to resolve unpaid pharma bills issue

With unsettled purchases of pharmaceuticals rising above Rs.16 billion in 2018 and 2019 under the previous regime, the heads of the Sri Lankan Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) are to meet with top government officials on Friday at the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC), to discuss how these liabilities could be repaid to pharmaceutical suppliers.

SLCPI Senior Vice-President of Sri Lankan Chamber of Pharmaceutical IndustrySanjiva Wijesekera told the Daily News yesterday that the Chamber was pleased that the current government was taking steps to address the issue, and that they are due to meet with government officials, including SPC Chairman Dr. Prasanna Gunasena.

“The pharmaceutical companies had imported these supplies of drugs, which remained unpaid for years, through a tender process of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC), the government’s pharmaceutical procurement arm. With SPC running into several billion rupees that are outstanding for these companies, they’re at risk of losses,” he said.

“The Chamber committee also discussed the matter with Health Minister Pavithra Vanniarachchi, and she was empathetic towards us. We also met Secretary Sajith Attygalle of the Treasury. They intervened from the pharmaceutical suppliers’ perspective, as well as from the standpoint of maintaining a better public health service,” he said.

Asked how soon they expected their overdue bills to be settled by the government, Wijesekera said they had expected it to be settled before the dissolution of Parliament. Inquired if there was any risk of a pharmaceutical shortage due to these pending invoices, he said, “There will be no such situation, because importers and representatives of the Chamber must ensure that the supplies are in place due to their value to the public. We are hoping for a fast practical solution,” he said.

 


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