The Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) urging calm, assures the public that despite the global impact of coronavirus, there is no shortage in availability of essential drugs in Sri Lanka. In a statement to media, SLCPI said that all major pharmaceutical importers have inventory and stock for at least three months and sometimes even more. So panic buying of medicines as a reaction to the coronavirus is unnecessary.
“We need to be sensible and judicious in our reaction to the current situation and not panic” said Kasturi Chellaraja, SLCPI’s Chairperson. “There is currently enough stock to meet three months of normal demand and we will make sure that the supply chain is not disrupted” she reasoned.
The statement was issued in the wake of several reports from pharma retailers that customers were buying as much as two to three month’s supply of drugs. “We need to be rational about this and there’s a lot of irrationality going on out in the community currently, owing to scaremongering”.
Kasturi Chellaraja went on to note “Sri Lanka is a small market and the excellent relationships that our Chamber members have with multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers worldwide, will ensure that we will not run out of stock”.
She also cautioned consumers that knowledge on storage is vital – failure to correctly store an overstock of medicines at home, can affect the efficacy of the medicine. “For example, cartons protect the product from light which can otherwise degrade the product; sometimes desiccants are used to protect the product from moisture”, she elaborated.
SLCPI also said that its membership of pharmaceutical importers were monitoring their supply chains closely and are confident that there would be no interruption. Despite the fact that 60% of the active raw material for drugs is manufactured in China, Europe remains the largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and although most imports to Sri Lanka are from India with India in turn dependant on China for raw material, the risk of running out of essential medicines in Sri Lanka is slim.