Sri Lankan pharmaceuticals manufacturing to receive support from Pakistan
The Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (SLPMA) had reportedly facilitated a bilateral meeting recently with visiting representatives of the Pakistani Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA).
The meeting was presided over by Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals (Prof.) Channa Jayasumana and accompanied by Secretary to the Ministry Rohitha Uduwawla, and Dr. Lakshitha Rajakaruna. The meeting had taken place on the sidelines of the first state visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Sri Lanka last month.
The first-ever bilateral meeting between pharmaceutical manufacturers of the two countries had reportedly focused on mutually beneficial proposals for both nations to leverage on opportunities provided by each for the other.
State Minister Jayasumana had requested the Pakistani pharmaceutical manufacturers to share their experience in developing Pakistan’s local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, according to local media reports.
The State Minister had also invited the PPMA to set up joint ventures with local pharmaceutical companies to manufacture complex molecules in Sri Lanka, in order to benefit from the government’s drive to increase local pharmaceutical manufacturing to 50% of country’s requirement by 2025, where Sri Lankan pharmaceutical manufacturers will have to manufacture at least 350+ pharmaceuticals locally.
Responding to the invitation by the State Minister, Head of the Pakistani Pharmaceutical Delegation Kashif Sajjad Sheikh had promised to share the best practices and technical knowhow with the SLPMA. He had further invited the State Minister and SLPMA to visit Pakistan to make a road show on the opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturing in Sri Lanka and enter in to MOUs with prospective Pakistan companies, which will be facilitated by PPMA.
Elaborating further, Kashif had reportedly stated that it is a good sign that Sri Lankan government policies and the National Medicinal Regulatory Authority (NMRA) are supporting local manufacturing. The SLPMA had emphasised on the importance of the Pakistani pharma story for local policy makers, especially in learning how the Pakistani government moved towards formulating a long-term policy and incentivized the private sector towards local manufacturing.
Currently producing over 93 drugs providing 15% of the local requirement of pharmaceuticals, the SLPMA pointed out that synergy between the two chambers will result in crucial technical transfers from Pakistan to Sri Lanka allowing the local industry to benefit from the years of research and development by the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association.
The SLPMA is hoping to achieve 50% production of local pharmaceutical requirements by 2025, and a target of $ 1 billion per year in exports by 2030.
Sri Lanka’s health authorities are targeting the development and expansion of the local pharmaceuticals manufacturing sector in order to meet the local medical needs as well as to the export market. The government of Sri Lanka has identified a special pharmaceuticals manufacturing zone and has offered many incentives for businesses interested in setting up ventures in the dedicated zone. Pharmaceuticals manufacturing sector is fast becoming a business/investment opportunity in Sri Lanka.
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