The government believes that Sri Lanka should aim towards promoting local manufacturing of pharmaceutical products so that foreign exchange can be earned creating a competitive market ensuring quality and effectiveness of the drugs prescribed while reducing the imports of prescribed drugs.
Minister of Health, Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that the pharmaceutical industry would enable Sri Lanka to penetrate the international market especially the South East Asian market other than the traditional exports of the country, at the opening of the country’s largest pharma manufacturing facility, the Morison factory at Nano Technology Park in Pitipana, Homagama in the presence of Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa last Friday.
This is the second manufacturing facility of Morison PLC. The factory is ready to commence validation batches and is expected to start commercial production early next year, supporting the Government’s aim to manufacture essential medicines locally. Morison’s new facility with an investment of USD 18.5 million reaches a major milestone in Sri Lanka, being the first European Union-Good Manufacturing Practice (EU-GMP) compliant oral solid dosage manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka.
“We urge the government to implement stable consistent regulations because unless without consistency in the policies and regulations it is tough to operate,” said Group CEO, Hemas Holdings PLC, Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson. She also said that with the partnership of SLINTEC they conduct research on the deployment of nano and advanced technology. This will ensure that Hemas along with Morison will be able to take new products out of the region.
Managing Director, Morison PLC Murtaza Esufally, said, “The launch of the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility marks a new era for Morison PLC, continuing our 80-year long mission to offer the highest quality products at affordable prices. This investment is supported through the guaranteed buy-back agreements that will help us to build economies of scale and be more competitive in global markets.”
“Continued government support will enable us to create a stronger footprint in exports and begin contract manufacture partnerships with global Pharma companies, helping Sri Lanka earn foreign exchange as we look to the future.”
Morison is committed to increasing access to high quality, affordable medicines to all Sri Lankans and enables it with the new plant, with a capacity to supply over 20% of Sri Lanka’s tablet needs.
Esufally said that the new plant has an annual production capacity of 5 billion tablets and 10 million bottles of medicine working at peak capacity on a double shift. The plant also has the first zero liquid discharge wastewater systems in the country.
He also said around 250 job opportunities will come about with the new plant. More than half of the jobs will be for graduates. The firm hopes to work with higher educational institutions for internships and joint research.