Medical students take part in a protest in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on April 29, demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa because of the country’s economic crisis – Photo: AFP
According to AFP news agency, this is the second time in the past six weeks that Sri Lanka has increased drug prices. In mid-March, the price of many drugs also increased by 30%.
The directive to increase prices by up to 40%, issued on April 30, applies to 60 drugs that are in shortage.
Sri Lanka’s Health Minister Channa Jayasumana said antibiotics, over-the-counter pain relievers, heart disease and diabetes drugs are all on the list of drugs that will increase in price.
Months of intermittent power cuts, shortages of food, fuel and medicine have led to widespread protests in Sri Lanka.
Many hospitals in Sri Lanka have had to cancel scheduled surgeries after the anesthesia ran out.
Sri Lankan pharmaceutical industry officials explained that the latest drug price hike was necessary to offset the impact of fuel prices doubling since December 2021.
The official statistics released on April 29 showed that the inflation rate in Sri Lanka was near 30% in April this year.
The country is currently in a shortage of foreign currency to import essential items. In April, the Sri Lankan government announced it could not pay its foreign debt of 51 billion USD and urged people abroad to donate money to help the country overcome the difficult economic situation.
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