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Sunday, 10 June 2012

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More Ayurveda products in the offing - SLADC MD


Indigenous Medicine Minister Salinda Dissanayaka and the officials inspect the production line.

The Sri Lanka Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation (SLADC) will introduce a number of new Ayurveda products, said SLADC Managing Director Nalin Mervin Fernando.

He said such products could be produced due to joint research by the SLADC and Japanese health experts.

The Sunday Observer interviewed the SLADC Managing Director on its progress during the last 40 years as a government commercial venture.

Excerpts of the interview:

Q: Indigenous medicine, specially the Ayurveda made big strides in popularity and acceptance during the past few years even the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recognised the importance of indigenous medicine and promoted it.

According to the reports WHO is studying the SLADC proposal to expand its research activities. Can you explain the future programs of SLADC?

A: The SLADC hopes to set up another Ayurvedic drugs manufacturing factory in Navinna to expand its research and manufacturing activities. The Cabinet has approved the project under the five-year plan from 2012-2016. The WHO has laid down guidelines on drug manufacturing such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) to ensure that its production meets international standards.

The Corporation had sought WHO assistance for this project.


Nalin Mervin Fernando

Q: Can you briefly tell about the new herbal medicine which will be introduced soon?

A: A number of herbs such as Iramusu, Kothalahimbutu, Beligata, Komarika and Godapora were researched to treat diabetes, urinal infections and healthy hair, a medicinal coffee, syrup and shampoo are in the production line.

Q: What are the countries interested in Ayurvedic medicine?

A: Germans, Italians, Canadians, Australians and Japanese visit Sri Lanka seeking Ayurvedic treatment. They are keen to apply Ayurvedic oils for various body ailments. Various countries such as Australia and Japan have sought Sri Lankan assistance to set up Ayurvedic health centres in their countries. The demand for Ayurvedic medicine has increased sharply in the local market and the foreign market.

Q: The SLADC was set up in 1996 to manufacture Ayurvedic drugs locally and help the community of Ayurvedic physicians and the people at large. Does the corporation follow these policies still or has it deviated from them.

A: The first SLADC Chairman was Ayurveda Keerthi, First Ayurveda Commissioner W.J. Fernando, he laid the foundation to the corporation to serve the people. He took the initiative to improve the corporation as a profitable venture.

There are over 150 medicinal drugs being manufactured by the corporation which has a profit of Rs. 45 million last year.New manufacturing techniques and production line has been installed and ISO 9001-2008 certification has been obtained.

Q: The delegates from China, Japan, Israel and Australia visited your corporation, what is the outcome of these visits?

A: They were highly impressed by the production of Ayurvedic medicine. During the discussion with foreign delegates the need for another manufacturing plant arose.

We need a drug manufacturing plant conforming to WHO guidelines so that its products could be exported to developed countries such as Germany, Australia, Japan and USA.

Q: What is your market share at present?

A: We manufacture high quality Ayurvedic drugs based on traditional methods.

Drugs for all Ayurveda hospitals run by the central government and the Provincial Councils are supplied by the SLADC.

There is a marketing network having a sales centre at each and every main town to sell Ayurveda products to the people.

We are find it difficult to meet the market demand fully. Qualified and professional Ayurveda physicians too have set up their Ayurvedic drugs manufacturing plants.

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