In a significant move, the Cabinet of Ministers in Sri Lanka has given the go-ahead to a proposal aimed at reducing the maximum retail price of 60 medicines, effective from June 15, 2023. Additionally, the Cabinet has mandated a regular review of medicine prices every three months.
The Ministry of Health had previously approved an increase of up to 97% in the maximum retail price of medicines due to the depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee against the US dollar. However, with the recent substantial appreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee against the US dollar, Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella announced during a Cabinet press conference held on June 6 that his proposal to reduce medicine prices was approved.
Minister Rambukwella emphasized that the preparation of the necessary gazette notification pertaining to the price reduction is currently underway. As a result, the maximum retail price of 60 medicines will witness a reduction of 16% from June 15 onwards.
This move by the Cabinet is expected to alleviate the financial burden on the public and make essential medicines more affordable. The reduction in medicine prices is a proactive step towards ensuring accessible healthcare for all citizens.
Regular reviews of medicine prices every three months will enable the government to closely monitor fluctuations in the currency exchange rate and take appropriate measures to adjust prices accordingly. Such periodic assessments will help maintain a fair and balanced pricing system for pharmaceuticals, benefiting both consumers and healthcare providers.