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The sudden removal of two officials of the National Medicinal Drugs Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) has triggered allegations that the officials were victimized as they refused to issue ‘no objection’ letters for certain unwanted and low quality drugs.
Prof. Lal Jayakody and Prof. Krishantha Weerasooriya were appointed Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively, of the NMDRA. However, both officials were removed by the Minister early last week.

While the Ministry claimed that they had failed to prepare the regulations for the implementation of the National Drug Policy within a stipulated time period, sources within the NMDRA said that they were removed after they failed to issue no objection letters for some ‘unwanted or quality failed drugs.’

When contacted by Nation, Media Coordinator of the Health Ministry, Nipun Ekanayake said both officials had failed to provide acceptable explanations during the last three progress review meetings of the ministry when questioned about the preparations of regulations for the implementation of the National Drug Policy sources said that both officials were asked to vacate and they had handed over their resignation letters. However, their letters were yet to be acknowledged by the authorities. The Ministry had already appointed Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage and Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe to the vacant posts.

Meanwhile, the Society for Government Pharmacists told the media that they opposed the Ministry’s decision to remove the officials from NMDRA.

The NMDRA was set up just 07 months ago and has registered around 15,000 varieties of drugs.