The Sri Lanka Chamber of Medical Devices Industry hosted the second edition of its annual CEO forum last week. The forum was hosted on the Microsoft Teams platform due to the current restrictions on gatherings and attracted members of the medical devices companies in the island. CEOs, Directors and General Managers of member and non-member companies participated in the event.
The programme featured an update on the activities the chamber is currently involved in, followed by a Q&A session. President of the SLCMDI, Mr. Eran Ranasinghe detailed the members on their work with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, National Medicines Regulatory Authority and the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
Here, it was noted that the SLCMDI has sought relief measures from the government, to overcome the financial burden on the importers. Although a moratorium has been granted for businesses, many members of the chamber could not avail this measure due to a turnover cap.
The chamber activities with the National Medicines Regulatory Authority were discussed at length. The SLCMDI meets periodically with the NMRA to resolve issues faced by their member companies. With the change in working conditions, members of the industry were mainly concerned about meeting submission deadlines and timely renewal of licenses.
The chamber also works alongside the NMRA to conduct training programmes and troubleshoot problems faced by the industry in the e-NMRA system; the latest venture on the digitalisation on the National Medicines Regulatory Authority. Commenting on their initiatives, Eran informed that a dedicated team has been set up to liaise with the authorities with a view to complete implementation of the e-NMRA system along with medical device regulations. In order to counter the effects of the rising dollar rates, the chamber has now requested for a reduction in the registration fees paid to the NMRA by its members.
Their work with the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation and the Ministry of Health prioritized the settlement of outstanding dues to importers. Several meetings were reported to have taken place with the Hon. Minister of Health and other officials in this regard. The chamber is appreciative of the efforts taken by the Hon. Minister of Health – Mrs. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, to settle the outstanding dues to companies. The chamber also learnt, a separate committee has now been set up at the SPC for disbursement of funds among suppliers in a fair manner; a gesture welcomed by the chamber.
The chamber also continuously engages with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance with the hope of implementing an e-procurement system for SPC and BES purchases. The chamber was of the opinion, given the current circumstances, the time is ripe for implementation of an e-procurement mechanism.
The Sri Lanka Chamber of Medical Devices Industry (SLCMDI) is the only recognized body established for the benefit of all manufacturers and importers of medical devices in Sri Lanka. The Chamber acts as a source of information for its members, protects their interests and conveys their collective views to the relevant stakeholders. It also conducts workshops and community programmes for the benefit of its members and stakeholders.
The Chamber’s vision is to ensure a regulated, equal opportunity and ethical industry. Its mission is to create meaningful solutions for the medical devices industry in Sri Lanka.