‘GSK’s 2.5 Bn capacity Paracetamol plant a strong boost to Lanka pharmas’ says Minister Rishad
Sri Lanka’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector will get a new boost when Glaxo Wellcome Ceylon GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) commences the first ever solid pharma production facility by a multinational in the country on 24 April.
“I am given to understand that Glaxo Wellcome will be producing a huge 2.5 Bn Panadol brand of Paracetamol tablets volume annually in its new facility in Moratuwa equipped with the state of the art machinery. I congratulate GlaxoWellcome on their new initiative” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka.
Minister Bathiudeen said this to T.S.Dayanand, Expatriate CEO of global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline Sri Lanka on 16 April in Colombo.
“This new source of supply will boost our pharma manufacturing sector and will also help stabilize domestic prices. Realizing the high dependency of local market on imported products and the need for setting up domestic production, President MahindaRajapaksa, proposed in September 2011 that steps are necessary to be taken towards pharma imports substitution. I believe that the new plant in Moratuwa will help us moving towards Strategic Import Replacement in our pharma market” Minister Bathiudeen said.
Sri Lanka’s competitive domestic pharma market is estimated to grow 11% annually. Only six local pharmaceutical manufacturers are already active in Sri Lanka and the shortfall is met by imported products from more than 300 international manufacturers which are currently competing in the domestic market. The government spends around US $140 Mn annually for medicines alone. Private sector research showed that among the promising growth segments within the Sri Lankan pharma market are chronic care, cardiovascular, and anti-diabetics segments.
The market share of generic drugs also has increased steadily over the past few years, and now represents almost two-thirds of the market.
According to the Business Monitor International which analyses country risks across 175 countries, the projected expenditure for Lankan pharmaceuticals for 2011 is expected to increase by 15percent to US $444 Mn in comparison to $ 386 Million in 2010.
Such a high dollar quantum together with rates of increase on annual pharma expenditure demonstrates promise for potential investors in this sector. Among the proposals in the 2012budget were to develop manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in Sri Lanka as a Strategic Import Replacement Enterprise by granting tax holidays for investment in the pharmaceuticals production.
“We are also planning to invest a further $ 11.2 million (Rs. 1.4 billion) to expand operations in Sri Lanka. We are looking to bring in state of the art technology to Sri Lanka” revealed T.S.Dayanand to Minister Bathiudeen. “We also view the upcoming special pharmaceutical zone in Kurunegala positively” Dayanand revealed.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce have already begun preliminary work on developing the country’s first pharmaceutical manufacturing zone by mapping out the first steps in developing the 48 acre (19.4 hectare) land plot which is less than 5 kilometers from Kurunegala city in the North Western Province.
- Asian Tribune -