Authoritative body formed to enact National Drug Policy

Wednesday, 4 March 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama Our Lobby Correspondent Bringing a wait of four decades to an end, the formation of an authority to establish the National Drug Policy was moved yesterday in Parliament. The Bill, presented by the Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, will empower the National Medicines Regulatory Authority, which will be responsible for the regulation and control of registration, licensing, manufacture, importation and all other aspects pertaining to medicines, medical devices, borderline products and the conduct of clinical trials in a manner compatible with the National Medicines Policy. The new Act will also provide for the establishment of divisions of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority, including the Medicines Regulatory Division, Medical Devices Regulatory Division, Borderline Products Regulatory Division and Clinical Trials Regulatory Division, establish a National Advisory Body and also repeal the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Act No.27 of 1980. The Bill will be taken up for debate on 4 March. However, highlighting the importance of taking time to closely examine the Bill for constructive criticism, Opposition lawmaker Ajith Kumara said: “It is required to have the Bill in the public domain. This is a Bill which was initiated many years ago and at that time I was just three years old. If required party leaders should decide to give us time till the end of this month, meeting the timetable shown in the 100-day program of the current Government.” Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, who disagreed with MP Kumara, informed the House that the National Medicines Regulatory Authority Bill is considered an urgent Bill and the Government has no intention of delaying the process. “This was the same Bill which former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena drafted but was unable to move. If you have constructive amendments I will not hesitate to introduce them,” Dr. Senaratne clarified.