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SL opens medicine manufacturing plant to curb importation of drugs


A mega pharmaceutical company that will manufacture medicines to treat diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol was opened in Pallekelle in central Sri Lanka, in order to reduce dependence on imported tablets, a leading investment agency said.

The Board of Investments (BoI), in a statement said Celogen Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., a new plant to manufacture pharmaceuticals, was opened by President Maithripala Sirisena in the presence of Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne and other officials.

The BoI said the manufacturing facility was very significant because it is a joint venture between Sri Lankan and Indian entrepreneurs with an investment value of 6.6 million U.S. dollars.

The pharmaceutical company will create employment for 150 workers including 80 university graduates.

The company will be producing a wide range of tablets including Metformin, Losartan potassium and Atorvastatin, capsules such as Omeprazole and Soft Gel Vitamin A, E and A & D.

Currently Sri Lanka imports approximately 1 billion U.S. dollars worth of pharmaceutical products and is almost entirely dependent on imports.

The government’s ambitious target is to reduce imports of pharmaceuticals by 70 percent by 2020, the BoI said.

Hence the manufacture of pharmaceuticals is a targets sector of the government of Sri Lanka for import substitution. It is also a thrust sector of the BoI and is actively promoted by the board.

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