New drug for heart patients already registered

The new drug which is reportedly to be imported for heart patients and said to be faster acting and more effective than the existing drugs is already registered at the National Medicine Regulatory Authority ( NMRA) Director Medical Supplies Division ( MSD) Dr. Lal Panapitiya told the Sunday Observer.

“As it is not in our formulary at present, we are doing a new formulary by revising the existing formulary,” he said.

According to informed sources, the drug is said to be Tenecteplase which is a thrombolytic drug administered to heart patients who have suffered heart attacks.

They told the Sunday Observer that it was it was much better and more effective than the current drug which is reportedly Streptokinase.

“It can save people who have suffered a heart attack if administered within three hours and can be administered at any mobile clinic or at any hospital,” a source said.

In a news report published by our sister paper the Daily News, on Monday, February 6, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Seneratne has been cited as saying that although the new drug currently costs Rs 120,000, arrangements were being made to hold discussions and coordinate with relevant parties to import the drug to Sri Lanka at a lesser price.

Health Ministry sources said tenders from importers would be called soon.

Director, National Hospital, Dr. Anil Jasinghe when contacted said the hospital was coping well with available modern drugs adding that any new drug which has been proved to be more efficient than the existing ones used for heart patients at the hospital was welcome.

Many private hospitals contacted by the Sunday Observer remained tight lipped with regard to the specific drugs in current usage for critically ill heart patients with their pharmacies saying that their main problem was confusion over brand names and generic terms when a particular drug was ordered by a physician.

“If that particular drug is not available we have to tell the patient to obtain it from another pharmacy,” a pharmacist in a leading private hospital said. 

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