- Created on Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:23
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The International pharmaceutical manufacturing firm, Glaxo Wellcome Ceylon GlaxoSmithKline will launch Sri Lanka’s first ever solid pharma production facility on 24th April at Moratuwa. The new facility equipped with the state of the art machinery will be producing a huge volume of 2.5 billion Panadol Brand of Paracetamol tablets annually. The new manufacturing unit will help stabilize domestic prices.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishard Bathiudeen said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa realising the high dependency of local market on imported products and the need for setting up domestic productions, proposed in September 2011, to take necessary steps towards pharma imports substitution, and this new plant in Moratuwa will help Sri Lanka to move towards strategic import replacement in the pharma market.
Sri Lanka’s competitive domestic pharma market is estimated to grow 11 per cent annually. Only six local pharmaceutical manufacturers are already active in Sri Lanka and the shortfall is met by imported products from more than 300 international manufacturers which are currently competing in the domestic market.
The Government spends around 140 million U.S.Dollars annually on medicines alone. Private sector research has shown that among the promising growth segments within the Sri Lankan pharma market are chronic care, cardiovascular, and anti-diabetics segments. The pharmaceutical trade sources said that the market share of generic drugs also has increased steadily over the past few years, and now represents almost two-thirds of the market.
The 2012 Budget recommended developing the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in Sri Lanka as a strategic import replacement enterprise by granting tax holidays for investment in the pharmaceuticals production.
Following an approval given by the Cabinet recently to establish a pharmaceutical manufacturing zone in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has already begun preliminary work on developing the country’s first pharmaceutical manufacturing zone by mapping out the first steps in developing the 48 acre land plot near Kurunegala in the North Western province.(niz)