India says no ban on Indian drugs in Sri Lanka

India says no ban on Indian drugs in Sri Lanka

May 8, 2012   01:24 pm

The Indian government denied media reports in Sri Lanka alleging supply of inferior drugs by Indian exporters and suspension of Indian companies by Sri Lanka for violation of tender terms, saying it has not been informed of such incidents.

“No report on banning of any Indian drug manufacturer has come to the notice of Government of India,” Press Information Bureau of India reported citing a reply by Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry to a question in Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Indian Minister says that discussions were held with concerned authorities in Sri Lankan Government through the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka and also during a visit of the Sri Lankan Health Minister to New Delhi during July-August in 2011, “wherein the need for clear technical specifications in the tendering process was stressed so as to prevent entry of sub-standard and low quality drugs in Sri Lankan market.”

However on December 23, 2011 Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health had temporarily suspended the use of the drug cyclosporine, manufactured by an Indian company.

The Ministry had stated that the drug, widely used by kidney patients, was suspended at government and private hospitals due to “suspicion over its quality”.

In August last year the Health Ministry, while announcing that over Rs.50 million were fined from suppliers who had not delivered drugs on promised dates, had said assured that strong legal action will be taken against suppliers violating the tender terms.

Reports had however claimed that Sri Lanka would not blacklist the Indian drug suppliers, over instances of supply of low-standard medicines and delay in supply of key medicines, 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 had said.

Drugs and pharmaceutical products are exported only after meeting stringent regulatory requirements prescribed by the regulatory authorities in various countries. Besides, Indian exporters have to comply with quality norms prescribed for manufacturing of drugs and pharmaceuticals in India by Drug Controller General of India under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said.

“Any reported violation is viewed seriously and is dealt with as per prescribed procedure under Drugs and Cosmetics Act,” he said in the written reply. (AdaDerana)

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