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Our Medicine for our People

Oyamaduwa lands on lease for local drug manufacturers

The right to use lands on lease at the Oyamaduwa Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Zone was granted to local drug manufacturers recently by Lands Minister S.M. Chandrasena and Pharmaceuticals Production, Supply and Regulation State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana.

The right to use lands on lease was granted to 15 local drug manufacturers at a ceremony held at the Mihikatha Medura, the Lands Ministry recently with the participation of ministers and drug manufacturers.

The Oyamaduwa Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Zone is located at the Deyata Kirula Exhibition site in Anuradhapura. There are 80 perches. A total of 31 local drug manufacturers forwarded project proposals to a committee of experts in this project. Then the committee selected 20 local drug manufacturers.

The total cost of this giant project is Rs. 28,000 million and it is expected to generate direct and indirect employment for 7,500 unemployed people through this venture. Under this project, it is planned to produce 236 drugs and 44 surgical equipment.

At the moment, only 15 percent of the total local drug requirement is produced in Sri Lanka. The Government spends around Rs. 65 billion for annual drug importation. Producing drugs locally saves foreign reserves.

In March this year (2021), the Cabinet approved investments worth Rs. 28.2 billion for the Oyamaduwa Pharmaceutical Zone.

Under Cabinet approval, land plots were leased to selected local investors for a period of 35 years with a release period in the first five years. This is part of the Government’s efforts to promote local production and safeguard reserves.

This 80-perch Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Zone which is to be set up in Oyamaduwa, Anuradhapura will be one of the three proposed by the Government. The other two will be in Hambantota and Horana with the former already receiving preferential tax support from the Government. Orthopaedic and neurosurgical equipment, cancer drugs, surgical instruments, contact lenses, as well as a variety of drugs are among the products which are going to be manufactured at the Horana Zone.

Last year the Government focused on increasing the production of medicine locally. The Government hopes to reduce this cost by 50 percent in the next three years and efforts will be made to simplify regulatory approvals for locally-made pharmaceuticals. The Government hopes to supply drugs to African and Southeast Asian markets as well.


Addressing the gathering, Pharmaceuticals Production, Supply and Regulation State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana said that Sri Lanka had produced around 16 percent of the total drug requirement of the country but remarkably, during the past 16 months, this percentage has increased up to 25 percent. Around 42 percent to 44 percent of drugs are to be manufactured at the Oyamaduwa Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Zone.

It is expected to produce around 90 percent of Western medicines required by Sri Lanka in the country itself by 2024. Sri Lanka will produce papers used for CT Scans and X-ray as well.

“I wish to thank President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for their guidance and assistance given towards this project,” the State Minister added.

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