Ward Rounds

Feb 16, 2008 (LBO) – A ban on representatives of Sri Lanka’s healthcare firms visiting hospitals has been lifted following a presidential order after the industry agreed to follow a code of conduct, an industry body said. Sri Lanka’s health ministry had banned visits by representatives to hospitals as part of a series of regulations to curb the sale of branded pharmaceuticals and the influence of drug firms on the medical profession.

Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) said it had met President Rajapakse to appeal the ban.

Health secretary H A P Kahandaliyanage, director general of health services, U.A Mendis, Prof. of Pharmacology – Faculty of Medicine, Colombo University, Professor Lal Jayakody, director medical supplies division Hemantha Beneragama, and SLCPI president Adrian Basnayake, and vice president, Ananda Samarasinghe had been at the meeting.

Sri Lanka has unveiled new measures to curb prescription of branded drugs by medical practitioners.

But critics say the country is yet to have a regime of efficacy testing to ensure that lower cost generic drugs in the market actually work as intended and consumers need to be given a choice where advice of medical practitioners a