State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Channa Jayasumana told Parliament yesterday that it was suspected that the supporters of the pharmaceutical mafia might have hacked into the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) database.
Responding to a series of questions raised by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, the State Minister said that the government would not allow the release of low-quality medicines to the market and there would be no increases in the prices of medicines due to the NMRA data loss.
The State Minister said that the data files related to those affairs were safe and only the data on the registration and renewal of registration of local pharmacies had been deleted.
Minister Jayasumana said that there was a possibility of recovering the lost data.
He said that the supporters of the pharmaceutical mafia had had a field day during the times of the Yahapalana government that the “Pharmaceutical mafia was flourishing during the 2015 to 2019 period, activities of such groups were brought to a halt after the present government came into power. Following the regime change the pharmaceutical mafia lost its hold and is now facing a crisis. There were suspicions that the NMRA data loss had been engineered by the pharmaceutical mafia,” the Minister said.
He said the companies that were part of the pharmaceutical mafia were prevented from importing drugs under various names or gain exorbitant profits. The deletion of NMRA data could be part of a conspiracy hatched by the pharmaceutical mafia. It could be that they were frustrated and in a crisis so that they attacked the NMRA database. The CID was conducting a probe to identify the perpetrators of the racket.
He said that there was no risk of prices of medicines increasing or blacklisted companies being able to import drugs owing to the NMRA data loss.
Minister Jayasumana said that 5,925 files had disappeared from the NMRA database. Among the files that disappeared, 3,137 were related to the registration or re-registration of pharmacies.
“There is no risk of drug prices going up, or companies being able to import blacklisted drugs under different names,” the Minister said.
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)