President, Maithripala Sirisena views a finished product– a dry powder injectable vial- during his tour at Navesta Pharmaceuticals in Mellewa Horana on Wednesday. Chairman of Navesta Pharmaceuticals, Sanjaya Jayaratne (L) and Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Rajatha Seneratne look on.
A new 1.4 billion rupee worth pharmaceutical company fully-owned by a Sri Lankan family that has its roots in the pharmaceutical industry, Wednesday opened the country’s first sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Millewa, Horana.
This new plant has the capacity to save US$ 7 million worth of imports per year by immediately meeting the national demand of 12 products in the Penicillin category.
This was announced when Navesta Pharmaceuticals Private Limited unveiled the country’s first sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka. The plant was officially opened by President Maithripala Sirisena along with Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.
Sri Lanka currently imports pharmaceuticals worth US$ 800 million per year.
Navesta has also become the first pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Sri Lanka to have earned European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (EU-GMP) and Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-Operation Scheme (PIC/S), compliant facility.
As a result, the Company can export their products to most global markets that accept these accreditations. The facility is also equipped with the country’s first EU-GMP compliant A and B Grade Microbiology (MB) laboratory, capable of carrying out comprehensive, advanced in-house testing methodologies.
Navesta Pharmaceuticals will primarily meet the local demand of 12 products in the Penicillin category (antibiotic drugs that are a part of the Beta Lactam group of medicines) dry powder injectable that were previously imported to the country.
Navesta chairman Sanjaya Jayaratne said,”We will continue to generate employment opportunities for Sri Lankans who specialise in pharmaceutical fields such as Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Chemistry, Pharmacy and Engineering as well as Sri Lankans who are interested in developing this new industry further. Navesta’s ultimate aim is to provide a reliable, vertically integrated local supply chain which will provide accessibility of high quality pharmaceuticals for our citizens. All our efforts surround the idea that we as a company, have a social responsibility to this generation and the next in providing our citizens better opportunities of a livelihood through our continuous industry development, reinvestment in the communities, and empowerment of our employees to carry this vision forward for Sri Lanka.”
Navesta’s 40,000 square foot manufacturing facility has a capacity to produce 50 million vials, saving millions in foreign expenditure for the country. Navesta Pharmaceuticals will expand the facility in the coming years to increase its production capacity by three-fold and contribute significantly to the Sri Lankan economy with exports. The plant provides 100 direct employment opportunities and 500 indirect employment opportunities.
Sanjaya thanked the government and the President for driving the public policy related to health and pharmaceuticals to encourage the production of pharmaceuticals in Sri Lanka with a buy-back guarantee among other forms of support.
Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that this is part of the change the government had promised to the country on election platform.
The President didn’t speak at the event but was seen on screen writing a long comment on the Navesta guest book registering his pleasure at inaugurating the plant.