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Drug price slash helps Sri Lanka improve people’s health

Sri Lanka’s drastic reduction in the price of nearly 50 medicines used to treat heart disease, diabetes and other common ailments has led to a substantial improvement in the health of its people, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in its latest report.

 

The world body noted that Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s move to transform pricing of essential drugs since October last year has had an “enormous impact on the health of the population.”

 

“Sri Lanka’s pharmaceutical market is estimated to be worth USD $ 400 million per year,” the WHO noted in its latest report on the island. “The regulation of the pricing of these medicines has an enormous impact on the health of the population.”

 

It said reducing prices was a major achievement in safeguarding patients’ rights to access affordable medicine in the country of 21 million people.

 

Prices of some of the most commonly used medication for cholesterol control, high blood pressure and diabetes dropped by over 50 percent since the minister brought in upper limits for 48 medicines from October last year.

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