Home News Patients Movement files FR petition against arbitrary removal of NMRA board

Patients Movement files FR petition against arbitrary removal of NMRA board

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Patients Movement files FR petition against arbitrary removal of NMRA board
The People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP) on Friday (09) filed a fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court, against the arbitrary dismissals of board members of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) by the Health Minister and the State Minister of Pharmaceutical Products.
In the strongly worded petition, the PMRP said the board members were removed, without giving reasons and purportedly for refusing to approve the use of Covid-19 vaccinations without adequate data and approvals from expert committees as was required.
The experts views were prudent especially during a pandemic, to ensure the safety of Sri Lankan people by only providing efficacious, safe and good quality medicine, the petition said.
Thereafter, several appointments were made to the NMRA board and the petitioners believed that due to the ad hoc manner in which fresh appointments were arbitrary, capricious and ultra vires the powers of the Health Minister and there appeared to be a lack of transparency on the part of Minister, the State Minister and the NMRA who had failed to publicly make known the current composition of the NMRA subsequent to the several dismissals and purported appointments, the PMRA mentioned in the petition.
Therefore the PMRP has made a request under the Right to Information Act. No.12 of 2016, and was seeking to obtain, among other things, the letters of termination and appointments made by the Health Minister and the State Minister, and the report of the independent panel of experts who had not recommended the use of the Sinopharm Vaccine.
The petition stated that the NMRA is statutorily empowered to authorise and regulate the registration and licensing of medicines and was therefore duty bound to call for and inquire from the relevant manufactures all relevant data to ascertain if medicines, especially vaccines to be utilised in a pandemic, were safe and effective.
The PMRP petition said the attempts to interfere with the independent functioning of the NMRA by the arbitrary dismissals and appointments to the board would have severe adverse consequences on the people, interfering with their rights to obtain efficacious, safe and good quality medicine.
Attorneys Saliya Peiris, Harini Jayawardane and Pulasthi Hewamanna appeared for the PMRP.

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