NMRA warns private hospitals cannot exceed MRP for medicines

Saturday, 17 October 2020 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • A leading private hospital in Col. 3 had recently sold medicines subject to MRP at much higher price to 2 patients admitted for in-ward care
  • Warning issued to hospital, patients reimbursed 
  • General public urged to be vigilant and complain to NMRA if overcharged for prescribed medicines

The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) in a statement yesterday warned the public that Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) had been imposed on several types of essential medicines and medical devices and private hospitals could not overcharge. 

“These price regulations are applicable to all brand names and generic names of selected medicines,” the statement issued by NMRA Chairman Prof. Asita de Silva said. 

It revealed that despite such ceiling prices being announced through a Gazette Extraordinary No.2123/35 on 15 May 2019, a leading private hospital in Colombo 3 had recently sold such scheduled medicines at a much higher price than the prescribed MRP to two patients admitted for in-ward care.

Pursuant to complaints received by these two patients the NMRA had taken necessary action against the relevant private hospital including a severe warning being issued to its management. 

The authority has also ensured excess charges for the medicines used by these patients had been refunded to them. 

In its statement the NMRA reiterated that healthcare institutions should adhere to ceiling prices even for in-ward patients. “Violating these provisions would be treated as an offence under NMRA Act, No. 5 of 2015 and offending hospitals may have their pharmacy licenses cancelled,” it warned. 

“As such, we advise the general public to be vigilant and complain to the authority if they are overcharged for prescribed medicines. We encourage members of the public to visit www.nmra.gov.lk for further details on medicines under the price regulation through gazette notification,” the NMRA statement added.