Chief Food and Drug Inspector of the National Medicine Regulatory Authority (NMRA), Amith Perera, yesterday said the number of medicinal drug abuse cases filed from January till October 31 had increased to 46. Last year there were 28 cases from January to December.
Perera said the NMRA had been informed of medicinal drug abuse cases by the police, the STF, the Coast Guard and the Navy. The number of raids conducted by the Police, Police Narcotic Bureau, STF and the Navy had increased, he said.
Medicinal drugs such as opioid painkillers used to treat neuropathic pain and generalised anxiety disorder were abused by drug addicts, Perera said, adding that they took overdoses. The situation was so bad that the sale of one of the potent painkiller had been restricted State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) outlets as there was no other way of it finding its way into the wrong hands. However, no legal action could be taken against other pharmacies retailing the drug, Perera said.