An Expression of Interest (EOI) has been called for the establishment of a pharmaceutical manufacturing zone in Oyamadu, Anuradhapura, where the “Deyata Kirula”, the National Development Exhibition Approval for the pharma zone was granted by the Cabinet of Ministers on 23 March 2021.
Speaking to The Morning Business, State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) Chairman Dr. Uthpala Indrawansa stated that they advertised the EOI and have to go through the Technical Evaluation Committee.
However, according to the cabinet decision, a committee of experts has already selected 24 investors by inviting project proposals; these investors are qualified and local investors and they are anticipated to invest Rs. 28.2 billion in this project, it is learnt.
The lands will be leased to these 24 investors for a period of 35 years.
The said proposal was tabled by Minister of Health, Nutrition, and Indigenous Medicine Pavithra Wanniarachchi in order to produce pharmaceuticals in the proposed pharmaceutical manufacturing zone according to international standards, at lower prices. Supplying and regulating these pharmaceuticals is to be under the purview of the State Ministry of Production, Supply, and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals.
Speaking to us earlier, State Ministry of Production, Supply, and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Secretary Dr. Lakshitha Rajakaruna said that this project is expected to build 25 factories while giving job opportunities to 3,000 individuals.
“Discussions are currently being carried out with investors for the project. It is planned to manufacture a wide range of products including tablets, capsules, liquid medicines, injections, surgical instruments, syringes, surgical needles and sutures, bandages, and plasters,” he said.
Dr. Rajakaruna added that the project was launched without being a burden to the Government or the Treasury, adding: “It is projected that after the construction of this manufacturing zone, it will meet one-third of the requirement of pharmaceuticals and surgical equipment in Sri Lanka,” he highlighted.
On the possibility of manufacturing Sinopharm vaccines, SPMC Chairman Dr. Indrawansa said: “We have a government procedure to follow. First, we have to follow the documentation procedure. Then, we have to go through a technical evaluation committee and the Tender Board to select a suitable contractor,” implying that the process would take time and therefore, the manufacturing of Sinopharm vaccines in the proposed pharmaceutical manufacturing zone cannot be predicted at the moment.