The Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) held its
61st Annual General Meeting at the ‘Samudra Ballroom’, Hotel Taj Samudra on the 23rd of
September 2022. The prestigious Pharmaceutical Chamber has an unblemished history of
serving as a representative of over 60 members who account for more than 80% of the island’s
private pharmaceutical market comprising of Importers, Manufacturers, Liaison Offices,
Distributors, and Retailers.
The Chamber unanimously elected Mr. Sanjiva Wijesekera as the President for the year
2022/2023. Mr. Wijesekera, the Executive Director of George Steuart Health (Pvt) Ltd., will
head the Pharmaceutical Chamber for the second consecutive year along with the Office
Bearers and Membership of the SLCPI, keeping the Chamber’s vision at heart, which is to
improve the quality of life and life expectancy of the Sri Lankan people through strong
partnerships and strengthened bonds with all stakeholders.
In his keynote address, Mr. Wijesekera highlighted that the past year has been the most
challenging year for the industry, especially in terms of value chain disruptions, rupee
depreciation and cost escalation of direct overheads, given the pandemic and the prevailing
economic crisis of the country. He went on to emphasize that, despite challenges the
Pharmaceutical Industry has been resilient, continuously ensuring the availability of medicines
and medical devices for the general public across the island. He also thanked the government
for the price adjustments granted on pharmaceuticals that helped to mitigate exchange losses to
a greater extent in the past year, aiding the industry to cope with adversity.
The Chief Guest at the AGM, Hon. Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella, opened his speech by affirming
that the state and the pharmaceutical industry are two faces of the same coin that work towards
the ultimate goal of providing the best service for the ailing patients in the country.
“Prudence is necessary to impose certain controls and guidelines in order to ensure that there is
no exploitation of people or the industry. Such controls should never be to the detriment of the
industry itself which provides an essential service”, stated the Minister.
He stressed the importance of working towards ensuring further effectiveness and efficiency of
the industry together with the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA), which is the
regulatory body of the island’s Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices.
The Minister also lauded the efforts of the industry during the past year for staying resilient
amidst distress and extended continuous support of the government to the Pharmaceutical
The Office Bearers of the SLCPI for the year 2022/2023 are; President – Sanjiva Wijesekera
(Executive Director, George Steuart Health (Pvt) Ltd), Immediate Past President – Kasturi
Chellaraja Wilson (Director/ Group CEO, Hemas Holdings PLC), Senior Vice President –
M.Prathaban (Deputy Chairman/CEO, Emerchemie NB (Ceylon) Ltd), Vice President – Azam
Jaward (Managing Director and CEO, Cipla Limited), Hon. Secretary – Shantha Bandara (CEO,
Sunshine Healthcare Lanka Ltd) and Treasurer- Dinesh Athapaththu (Managing Director,
The SLCPI is determined to further synergize the strengths of all Importers, Manufacturers,
Liaisons Offices, Distributors and Retailers of pharmaceuticals of 1239 molecules in 7723 stock
keeping units currently available in Sri Lanka from 438 manufacturers across the world and to
make them available to all ailing patients at affordable prices in Sri Lanka.
Sanjiva Wijesekera (SLCPI President) addressing the gathering at the 61 st Annual
General Meeting of SLCPI