NMRA data loss could be an act by medicine traffickers, AG tells court

NMRA data loss could be an act by medicine traffickers, AG tells court

September 13, 2021   11:19 pm

The Attorney General has informed the court that there is a suspicion as to whether the deletion of data from the database of the National Medicine Regulatory Authority (NMRA) was an act by medicine traffickers.

Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, appearing on behalf of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), informed this when the case was taken before Colombo Chief Magistrate Buddhika C. Ragala today (September 13).

The Deputy Solicitor General stated that the responsibility for maintaining the database of the NMRA has been taken over by a private company called ‘Epic Lanka’ since five years ago.

However, the company had failed to fulfill its responsibilities and that the data had been deleted due to the negligence of the company, the Deputy Solicitor General alleged.

He pointed out that the agency had not taken proper steps to protect the NMRA and that it had not even taken steps to maintain a backup of the information.

He added that some pharmaceutical companies import the same drug under different names, stating that data on the composition of those drugs are stored in the database which has now been erased. This enables pharmaceutical companies to set the prices of drugs as they wish, the Deputy Solicitor General added.

Further, Deputy Solicitor General Dileep Peiris requested the court to give a date to make submissions after studying the database as there is a risk of deleting important information in it if it is updated under the supervision of the accused.

However, Colombo Chief Magistrate stated that the court could not intervene in the matter regarding the updation of the relevant database.

The Chief Magistrate stated that the recent order preventing the updation of the relevant database would be revoked and that the update should be done in consultation with all parties.

The court also directed that the case be taken up again on December 09 and directed the CID to report on the progress of the investigation on that day.

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