The registration of new pharmacies has been suspended until the National Drug Regulatory Authority (NDRA) completes its island-wide survey on pharmacies, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.
Senaratne was informed, at a meeting with pharmacy owners, that the mushrooming of pharmacies has had an adverse effect on the industry.
"The pharmacy owners told me that because of these new pharmacies their business is suffering. Some pharmacies don't have a pharmacist although laws state that each pharmacy should have a trained pharmacist," he said.
He added that when the Ministry brought 47 medicines under a price ceiling, the Pharmacists' Association assisted the process greatly.
"Some prominent pharmaceutical companies opposed the controlled prices. The decision to reduce prices is a political decision.
25,000 Sri Lankans die annually due to smoking and out of this 5% are kids who die due to the effects of passive smoking. That's why we increased prices to discourage smoking. That is also a political decision," he said.
The minister said,the government can't allow pharmaceutical companies to exploit people or flood the market with low quality medicine.
"I request pharmacies to sell medicine produced by the State Pharmaceutical Company. It will help the country. The SPC gives good deals to pharmacies," he said. (ceylontoday)