The Minister said 95 percent of cancer drugs are purchased by the government and the private sector sells about 5 percent. He said cancer drugs are very expensive and many patients do not have the money to purchase the drugs. The Minister said the government spends over Rs. 7 billion annually to import cancer drugs.
He pointed out that the price of one cancer drug which was Rs.280,000 when the Yahapalana Government came to power has now been reduced to Rs.144,000.“Similarly, the prices of 10 cancer drugs will be reduced,” he added.
“Until the Yahapalana Government came to power, the Health Ministry paid money to pharmaceutical companies. I removed the Rs.1.5 million upper limit for cancer treatment. Now one patient has received treatment worth Rs.45 million plus. Due to these efforts, the life span of cancer patients have increased,” he said. Deputy Director Generals, Directors of the Health Ministry and World Health Organization representatives participated in the meeting.