Sri Lanka has imported substandard drugs worth Rs. 1 billion in the last five years, investigations by the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) revealed.
The State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) which was under review by COPE has no mechanism to conduct quality checks and expiry dates on medicinal drugs that arrive at customs, raising serious concerns about the quality assurance aspect of drugs brought into the country, COPE Chairman Sunil Hadunnetti told the Daily News.
“This is a serious matter. The SPC gets to know about the lack of quality only later. They conduct quality checks only when complaints are received from the public regarding the quality of products. By then the items concerned have been distributed and used,” Handunnetti said elaborating on the issue. He claimed that the SPC and the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation do not have proper coordination which has led to serious procurement issues.
Handunnetti said the lack of proper communication and coordination between the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) and the SPC has also led to a number of issues regarding purchasing and supplying medicine to the state healthcare system.