The Government will consider a five percent hike in the price of pharmaceuticals, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Rajitha Senarathne told the industry representatives at a recent meeting.
The Minister has said that the Ministry together with the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) will introduce a price formula to absorb the difference in foreign exchange. He made this statement at the 55th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry last Friday.
Elaborating on this, the Minister said that the NMRA will work on the relevant price formula.
“Since we have reduced the prices of most medicines and medical equipment earlier, we must give a breathing space to the pharmaceutical industry as well. It will not be an unbearable increase. They are currently selling medicine with a very thin margin, hence we decided to adjust the prices taking the foreign exchange component into consideration,” the Minister told the Sunday Observer.
He further said it is the usual practice in any country with price regulations, to provide such concessions to the industry. “Once the new pricing structure comes into force, following its gazette notification, it will be effective for a period of one year, after which it will be revised,” the Minister said.
During the past few months prices of medicine were reduced while a special gazette notification was issued last week introducing the reduced prices for stents needed for heart surgeries.
The prices of lenses for cataract surgeries were reduced sometime earlier.