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Sunday, 8 February 2015

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GMOA expresses concern:

Consult us before implementing drug policy - Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has expressed concern that it was not consulted before the National Drugs Policy Act was presented to Cabinet this week, and has called upon the health authorities to consult them prior to implementing it.

GMOA, President, Dr Anuruddha Padeniya told the Sunday Observer that they were surprised that they hadn't been consulted, since they were the main organisation pressing for the implementation of this long overdue piece of legislation during the past 10 years. "We hope the GMOA and other key stakeholders in the medicinal drug industry will be consulted before it is passed in Parliament and implemented".

At present there were over 10,000 medical drugs registered in the country which were far in excess of the essential drugs needed. "If their numbers could be cut drastically, to the few essential drugs, it would save billions of rupees in foreign exchange as most are imported", he said.

In earlier recommendations on medicinal drugs to the former Ministers of Health the GMOA had consistently highlighted Quality, Affordability and Availability. "We also recommended that drug production and distribution should be streamlined and transparent. Information on drugs too should be readily available to the public.

Today the private sector distribution procedure is in disarray. The State Pharmaceuticals Corporation needs more outlets due to the increasing demand. If these issues can be addressed, everything else is bound to fall in place", he said. Welcoming the Government's promise to implement the new Drug Act within its 100-day program, a spokesman for a leading Non Governmental Organisation which has also been actively pressing for quality and affordable drugs said, "As long as it incorporates the main recommendations of Prof. Senaka Bibile, the public will benefit in the future," he said.

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