Sri Lanka to set up radioactive drug manufacturing center to manufacture cancer diagnosis drug
Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers has reportedly granted approval to a proposal to establish a radioactive drug manufacturing center at the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) Hospital in Colombo to produce Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG), which is a drug, used in PET and CT scans to identify cancer cells in the body.
According to reports, the drug is injected to the patient prior to a PET or CT which produces a colour-coded image of the body showing normal and cancerous cells. A device called a cyclotron is used to produce the drug. It is also used to diagnose heart disease and epilepsy.
Sri Lanka imports the drug from India due to a lack of cyclotron radiopharmaceutical facilities in the country, according to the statement by the Cabinet office. The statement has further noted that due to radioactive decay about 97 per cent of the imported medicine becomes inactive. Only 10 patients can be tested with the remaining capacity.
It is not clear how much 18F-FDG Sri Lanka imports from India annually. Sri Lanka has a need to test about 30,000 patients and only 1,600 can be tested on average annually, local media reports have stated.
At present, it costs about Rs 54,000 for the government to test one patient using the imported drug and this cost can be brought down to Rs 14,000 by manufacturing it locally at the proposed Deoxy Glucose Drug Manufacturing Centre, the statement has noted.
The facility will operate in collaboration with the Atomic Energy Board of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s health sector is fast becoming a hotspot for business/investment opportunities, especially in the field of pharmaceutical manufacturing. The government of Sri Lanka has assigned industrial zones to set up pharmaceuticals manufacturing facilities. Local health authorities are focused on increasing the country’s pharmaceuticals manufacturing process with the aim of meeting the local demand and eventually to enter the export market. Sri Lanka’s many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country will further assist this endeavour. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore opportunities in Sri Lanka’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/20210407/Z_3|