The 60th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) was held on August 10, 2021 by virtual means.The chamber opted to conduct the meeting virtually, for the first time, to ensure the safety of the community as a result of the prevailing COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) is the apex body of the private sector pharmaceutical industry in Sri Lanka comprising of importers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers. Originally established as the Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Traders Association (SLPTA) in the year 1961, the chamber was later transformed to become theSLCPI, with the aim of synergizing strengths of the stakeholders towards achieving the healthcare goals of the country, and is affiliated with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber unanimously elected Mr. Sanjiva Wijesekera, Executive Director of George Steuart Health (Pvt) Ltd., as the President for the year 2021/22. Sanjiva counts over 34 years of industry experience and has served in the SLCPI for over 10 years. He has held the positions of Committee Member, Treasurer, Vice President and Senior Vice President of the SLCPI in the past. Sanjiva will take over the reigns from Ms. Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson (CEO – Hemas Holdings PLC), who served as president for two years.
The office-bearers elected for the year 2021/22 are President – Mr. Sanjiva Wijesekera (Executive Director – George Steuart Health), Immediate Past President – Ms. Kasthuri Chellaraja Wilson (CEO – Hemas Holdings PLC), Senior Vice President –Mr. M Prathaban (Managing Director – Emerchemie NB Ceylon Ltd.), Vice President – Mr. Azam Jaward (Managing Director – Cipla Pharma Lanka Ltd.), Hon. Secretary – Mr. Shantha Bandara (CEO – Sunshine Healthcare Lanka Ltd.)and Treasurer – Mr. Dinesh Athapaththu (Managing Director – Morison PLC).
In his keynote address, President Sanjiva Wijesekera thanked the outgoing office bearers and committee members for the confidence placed in him to lead the chamber and lauded their untiring efforts in the past.He reiterated the chamber’s enthusiasm in working with the regulator and all other stakeholders, towards achieving the shared objectives of affordable and quality medication for all Sri Lankans.Commenting on the chamber objectives for the ensuing year, Sanjivaaims to; continue to collaborate with the pricing committee of the NMRA for a transparent and workable mechanism for the regulation of pharmaceutical pricing; finalize the amendments to the NMRA Act pertaining to the regulation guidelines on mutual grounds with the NMRA; interact with the NMRA to streamline the existing regulatory procedures in liaison with the stakeholders; join forces with the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation on setting up a transparent tender policy and a more equitable payment and supply related policy that is not detrimental to the industry; and work closely with the retailers and distributors for the smooth supply of medicines to the general public without any hindrance.
Sanjiva further went on to appreciate the combined efforts of the industry for their commitment and stellar service during the height of the COVID Pandemic. He thanked the supply chain teams of the importers, distributors and retailers, who played a pivotal role in ensuring an uninterrupted supply of essential medicines to the general public.
The SLCPI serves as the representative of over 60 members spanning manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers, who account for more than 80% of the private sector pharmaceutical industry. These stakeholders supply Sri Lankan patients with 800 molecules from 364 manufacturers from across the world.