Adding more burden to the staggering economy of the island nation, the Health Minister of the country Channa Jayasumana issued a special gazette order on Thursday stating a dramatic price hike in the pharmaceutical drugs, yet again shooting up the prices of 60 drugs up by 40 to 60 per cent, reported local media.
This decision will impact the most commonly used medicines as their rates are expected to spike.
Further, the Health Minister has instructed all the medical professionals to adhere to the gazette notification, maintaining the price, as reported by Colombo Page.
"Every trader, distributor, pharmacist, medical practitioner, dentist, veterinary surgeon, medical institution including a private medical institution, pharmacy or person who or which is in possession of the Scheduled Medicines for the purpose of sale shall maintain the price of the Scheduled Medicines at the maximum retail price or revised retail price whichever is less," states the gazette notification issued by Jayasumana.
Presently, Sri Lanka is facing one of the worst economic woes since gaining independence in 1948. It is grappling with food and electricity shortages, affecting many people, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours. The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has left the country unable to buy enough fuel, with people facing an acute scarcity of food and basic necessities, heating fuel, and gas.