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Minister’s decision challenged

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Ayurveda preparation ‘Sudarshana’ in state hospitals

The Sri Lanka Association of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (SLACPT) yesterday said that they found it difficult to agree with a statement issued by the State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana, a professor of pharmacology himself, recommending the use of Ayurveda preparation Sudarshana in state hospitals.

The SLACPT has, in a media statement, said that although it had been tested on animals to show some physiochemical properties of the drug, there had been no data from human trials.

Therefore, such recommendations could only increase the sales of the drug with no proof of efficacy or safety, and encourage self-medication with possible harmful effects as well, the SLACPT has said.

Given below are excerpts of the SLACPT media statement:

“We appreciate the concern shown by the State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals to find a remedy for the COVID-19 infection. This is especially relevant when no therapeutic agent, apart from dexamethasone in severely ill patients, has shown any significant beneficial effect in treating the disease as reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).”

“In this background it is natural that attention is paid to the possible use of alternative forms of medicine. However before a drug is recommended for such use, it is imperative that its efficacy and safety in humans are tested and confirmed. Such recommendation is possible only after properly conducted Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) in humans by experts in the field according to the strict guidelines laid down by ICH-GCP, WHO and other regulatory authorities.”

” Our Association has done an in-depth survey of research literature looking for such credible trial evidence regarding the drug Sudarshana. Though there were few animal studies showing some physio-chemical properties of the drug, there were no data from human trials. Further, such recommendations can only increase the sales of the drug with no proof of efficacy or safety, and encourage self-medication with possible harmful effects as well.”

“It should also be noted that practitioners of allopathic medicine registered by the Sri

Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) are not supposed to prescribe other forms of medicine. We earnestly request the minister to reconsider his decision to recommend the use of this drug until proof of its efficacy and safety is available.”

 

 



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Avishka and Sadeera power Jaffna Kings to nine wicket win

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Half tons by Avishka Fernando and Sadeera Samarawickrema powered Jaffna Kings to a nine wicket win over Dambulla Aura in the 3rd match of the LPL2022  at MRICS Hambanthota on Wednesday (07)

Dambulla Aura 121/9 in 20 overs (Jordan Cox 43; Maheesh Theekshana 3/20, Vijayakanth Vijaskanth 3/24, James Fuller 2/16, Zaman Khan 1/28)

Jaffna Kings 122/1 in 15.4 overs (Avishka Fernando 51 , Sadeera Samarawickrema 62 not out; Noor Ahamed 1/28)

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Govt. says selling state assets only way to build reserves and prevent crippling shortages

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday (06) said Sri Lanka wouldn’t be in a position to be part of the international trading system unless it boosted its foreign reserves by selling some of its assets. Gunawardena, who also holds media and transport portfolios said so at yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing.

Responding to a query about the government’s decision to divest vital national assets, the Minister said that if Sri Lanka did not shore up its reserves to the tune of over three billion dollars, international companies would not accept the letters of credit given by Sri Lankan banks.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Finance Minister, has proposed privatising of several state enterprises including Sri Lanka Insurance and Sri Lanka Telecom.

“Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga sold a number of state owned enterprises. If we don’t increase our reserves, to over three billion USD soon, we will have problems importing fuel, and other essential items. Last week, Fitch again reduced our rating. No matter who governs Sri Lanka, they will all face the same problem. We need to build our reserves,” the Minister said.

Minister Gunawardane said that the need of the hour was to sell some assets and boost Sri Lanka’s reserves.

“China, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia are attracting a lot of investors. Only we have failed to do so, and we need to think why this is. Even our entrepreneurs are leaving for other countries. We need to change the way we think, if we want to attract investors to Sri Lanka,” he said.

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Ven Siridhamma, Mudalige granted bail; latter re-arrested

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Convenor of Bhikku Balamandalaya affiliated Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Ven. Galwewa Siridhamma Thera leaving Court yesterday (06) after Kaduwela Magistrate Chanima Wijebandara granted him bail. The Thera was held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for causing damages to public property during a protest opposite the Education Ministry, over three months back. The Magistrate ordered the Thera released after the police failed to identify the monk at an identification parade. However, IUSF Convenor Wasanatha Mudalige, who was also released by the Magistrate, after the police couldn’t identify him, was taken into custody in connection with some other case.

Pics by Kamal Bogoda

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