Pharma industry withdraws 11 drugs from market: Importing not commercially viable


Oct 17, 2018 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) in a statement to media said that despite persistent appeals, the Government has failed to address the issue of a fair and proper pricing mechanism for pharmaceutical products in light of the sharply depreciating Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar.

“With over 85 percent of pharma products being imported, both Ministry of Health as well as the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) have remained wilful in depriving the industry of adjusting pricing of products as per the prevailing exchange rate, ” the SLCPI noted with concern.

As such, the following pharmaceutical products will no longer be available in the market as it is not commercially viable to import them.

Products Name Generic Name Manufacturer
1 Cozaar Tablets 50mg Losartan Potassium Tablets 50mg MSD UK
2 Hyzaar Tablets Losartan Potassium 50mg + Hydrochlorothiazide 12.5mg MSD UK
3 Fosamax Alendronate Sodium 70mg MSD UK
4 Voltaren SR 100mg Diclofenac Sodium Modified Release Tablets 100mg Novartis Switzerland
5 Januvia 100mg Sitagliptin Phosphate 100mg MSD Italy
6 Rocephin 1Gr Ceftriaxone Injection 1g Roche Switzerland
7 Binozyt Capsules Azithromycin Capsules 250mg Sandoz Bangladesh
8 Binozyt Powder for Oral suspension Azithromycin Powder for Oral Suspension 200mg/ 5ml Sandoz Bangladesh
9 Tenormin Atenolol Tablets 50mg & 100mg Astra Zeneca Swtzerland
10 Alimta Pemetrexed Injection 100mg & 500mg Eli Lilly France
11 Herbesser Diltiazem Tablets 30mg SR & 60mg SR Tanabe Japan


Some of the above drugs were withdrawn in 2016 due to the price ceiling and in the absence of a pricing formula.

SLCPI notes with distress that discontinuation of pharmaceuticals implicates multiple parties such as the manufacturing firms, patients, providers, pharmacies and the health authorities. The biggest setback would be for the patients who are adversely affected if the drug product that provided excellent therapeutic benefits and resulted in positive health outcomes is no longer available in the market.

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