The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has taken a proactive stance in addressing critical issues within Sri Lanka’s healthcare sector, recognising the importance of patient safety, access to quality healthcare, and fostering industry growth.
The Ceylon Chamber had a meeting with the Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella, and outlined a comprehensive plan of action to revitalise the national healthcare system.
Director General of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Asela Gunawardane, Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Duminda Hulangamuwa, Board Members of the Ceylon Chamber, and representatives of key private healthcare industry stakeholders were present. The importance of patient safety, access to quality healthcare, and creating an environment which facilitates effective and efficient industry operations were among the key focus areas discussed. As a direct result of this engagement, the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) Pricing Committee has committed to accelerate its efforts to establish a new pricing formula for medicinal drugs, addressing long-persisting pricing concerns.
The Ceylon Chamber raised concerns regarding excessive regulations hindering progress within the healthcare system, causing delays, and creating a fast-growing gray market, which will be detrimental to patient safety. Proposed measures aim to streamline administrative processes, implement proper pricing mechanisms, and ensure a fair playing field for all stakeholders.
The Minister invited the Ceylon Chamber to support to the implementation of a digital system that would enhance transparency and regulation, as well as the establishment of accredited laboratories to maintain stringent quality standards.
Emphasising the need for clarity in defining essential and non-essential drugs, the Chamber Chamber advocated for precise regulations to prevent misinterpretations.
Separate regulations for medical devices, distinct from medicines, are also on the agenda to streamline registration processes.
Stressing that the highlighted issues are collectively negatively impacting public safety in terms of access to quality healthcare, the Ceylon Chamber together with industry stakeholders stressed the importance of ensuring that ministry-level decisions effectively translate into tangible improvements at the NMRA level, and pledged to support the government to implement the measures.