The Industrial Board of Pharmaceutical Importers has asked the Ministry of Health to remove the control price or increase the price of drugs by 15 percent if dollars cannot be released to open letters of credit for importing drugs.
Importers have been hard hit by commercial banks claiming that they do not have the dollars to issue letters of credit to import drugs. Therefore, the Board of Industries has made the relevant request to the Ministry.
In August 2021, the National Drug Regulatory Authority and the State Ministry of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation approved a nine percent increase in drug prices.
At that time the US dollar was selling at 176 rupees but now it has exceeded 230 rupees, said the Board of Pharmaceutical Importers. Production of Paracetamol tablets in Sri Lanka has also been hampered due to rising raw material prices. The control price of a Paracetamol tablet is one rupee and fifty nine cents. The companies have pointed out that Paracetamol cannot be produced at that control price due to rising raw material prices.
The Ministry of Health has also discussed the situation with the Ministry of Finance and the State Ministry of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation, but importers say no solution has been found so far.