Monday, May 9, 2011

India, Sri Lanka plan to work out mechanism to check export of substandard drugs by Indian pharma cos

Repeatedly faced with instances of supply of low-standard medicines and delay in supply of key medicines by Indian pharmaceutical firms, Sri Lanka is planning to take up the issue at the highest-level  through a meeting between the health ministers of both the countries.

Sri Lankan Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena is likely to visit Delhi this month to meet Union Home Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on this issue, sources said. Both ministers are expected to discuss the recent controversies and sort out the problem by setting up some mechanism to prevent supply of substandard drugs and operation of spurious companies.

Sources also informed that Sri Lanka would not initiate any action or blacklist the Indian drug companies as now. But, Sri Lankan authorities will be handing over the details of the Indian companies under allegation to India during the visit. Based on the information, India will have to  take further action against such companies.

Recently, Sri Lanka had ordered the suspension of tenders awarded to 10 Indian drug companies for supplying sub-standard drugs, not adhering to tender procedures, and delaying deliveries. Indian High Commissioner had taken up the matter with the Lankan Minister. India had also assured action against the companies for allegedly violating the procedures.

India also proposed delegation from the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) visit Sri Lanka to meet the local Health authorities regarding the procedure adopted by the Sri Lankan government for sourcing pharmaceuticals from India.

As per the latest reports, Sri Lanka has made it clear that it would not blacklist the Indian drug suppliers and instead, the errant companies will have to forego the cash bond furnished in terms of the supply contract. The firms will accordingly be asked to forfeit the cash bonds between 5 to 10 per cent of the contract value, reports said. Around 100 Indian drug suppliers are in the Colombo Health ministry's suppliers’ roll.

Source: Pharmabiz



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