Two parliamentarians today filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking an order to set up an Independent Probe Committee to carry out investigations against health authorities, including the Health Minister and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), for repeatedly permitting the importation of medicines and medical devices that are substandard or unauthorised.

Samagi Janabalawegaya Parliamentarians Dr. Kavindu Jayawardena and Harshana Rajakaruna filed this petition naming Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Chairman of NMRA, its members, Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena, and several others as respondents.

The petitioners maintained that the importation and distribution of medicines following the authority’s decision were not fit for human use or consumption.

The petitioners reiterate that the respondents have allowed these drugs to be provided for hospitals and administered to the general public without proper research, contrary to the normal procurement process, health guidelines, and ordinary health, putting public health in danger.

The petitioners reiterate that Section 109 of the NMRA Act only permits medicinal products that are specifically and specially needed to control the disease or treat the persons affected or who will be affected in the future by that particular incident to be brought down to Sri Lanka.

The petitioners state that the respondents, taking advantage of Section 109 of the Act, continue to bring medicinal products to Sri Lanka under and in terms of the emergency regulations. The petitioners reiterate that Section 109 of the Act lays down a procedure to be followed in exceptional circumstances, which the respondents are abusing as a routine practice.