Pharmaceutical industry hit hard by Sri Lanka’s economic crisis

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is causing a shortage of medicine in the country.

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Representational image (Reuters photo)

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is affecting the pharmaceutical industry and the country is facing a shortage of essential medicines. Local pharmacies have run out of medicine with patients leaving empty-handed.

A doctor at the Sri Lanka medical association, Ishan, said, “All kinds of medicines – general medicines and those that are specific to a certain health condition – are in shortage due to the economic crisis. A list is continuously circulated by the authorized organizations to give a picture of the missing medicines and also to seek assistance for others.”

A local pharmacist said, “Many over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol and antibiotics are not available. Heart medicines and anesthetic medicines are unavailable because of which surgeries have been temporarily stopped in many places.” Another pharmacist added, “The economic crisis has also led to the increase in prices of medicines. We have observed people traveling long distances to get medicine. Sometimes, they don’t buy the medicine they need because of the price. It is a terrible situation.”

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Last week, a two-year-old child fell sick and the family could not arrange medicine for her. Her mother said they had to travel very far just for general medicine.

According to Dr Ishan, the next step forward is for other countries to provide help. He said, “India has given a helping hand and we are thankful for it. But we will need more assistance when it comes to medicine.”

Since January, the Indian government has given US $ 3.5 billion in aid to the island nation. Earlier, external affairs minister S Jaishankar had also said that India will also assist Sri Lanka with its medicine shortage problem.

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