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No bread, no power and soon no medicines - Sri Lanka braces for possible drug shortage

File photograph: Doctor distributing medicine at a Sarvodaya camp

Sri Lanka may face a shortage of drugs within two months warned a government official, as a worsening economic crisis threatens to endanger even more livelihoods on the island.

Dr. R. M. Saman Kusumsiri Ratnayake, Secretary to the State Ministry of Drug Production, told the Daily Mirror that a “priority list of drugs” had already been drawn up that needed to be imported “with immediate effect” and called for letters of credit to be opened for drug purchases.

“Letters of Credit (LCs) for four consignments of drugs worth USD 5 million have already been opened while we have requested two state banks to open LCs for some other consignments of drugs worth USD 8 million and USD 14 million,” he said.

Though the official said there were limited stocks at present, he warned that shortages could hit in as little as two months.

Already, there have been power cuts across the island and imminent shortages of bread foreign dollar reserves hit at an all-time low and the financial crisis in Sri Lanka worsened.

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