Sri Lanka To Manufacture Radiation Drug FDG


A Memorandum of Understanding was signed today to launch the manufacture of the radiation drug FDG – vital for detection of cancer here. The project would save a huge sum in foreign exchange to the country, said Duminda Dissanayake, State Minister for Solar, Wind and Hydro Power Generation Projects Development, under whose purview are the two vital institutions that will undertake the task – the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Regulatory Council and the Atomic Energy Board (AEB). This is the result of an agreement recent between State Minister Dissanayake and State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Dr. Channa Jayasumana.

Dissanayake said the main objective of this project was to give a new hope to cancer patients who had no hope without early detection of the deadly disease. Minister said that the Atomic Energy Board, in association with the Kotelawala Defense University had initiated the initiative to manufacture FDG in Sri Lanka to enable PET scanning, a method currently used to detect and detect cancer at an early stage in the body.

An MoU has already been signed among the Atomic Energy Board of Sri Lanka, Sir John Kotelawala Defense University, and the Medical Supplies Division. Under this, a device called Cyclotron will be installed in Sri Lanka to manufacture this drug. Accordingly, the FDG drug will be manufactured locally at a cost of Rs. 14,000, whereas what is imported at present from India cost Rs 54,000 per patient.

Dissanayake said on December 20, 2020 they decided that an agreement should be reached on this project by January 15. “Decisions in the interest of the public service are a little difficult to make. That is because our public service is conservative and afraid to touch new things. As our public servants are changing with the new vision of the President, we now have a good team with us to carry out these tasks properly,” he said.

It costs Rs. 100 million a year to get the radioactive material needed for this test. About 1800 patients are examined every year. With the installation of this machine, if 30,000 cancer patients are detected early per year, all of them will be able to be cured, he said. At present there are only three such machines in the country. In the future, the public sector will be able to install seven more machines and the private sector will be able to obtain this service on their own investment.

“In a few more years we will make our country the country with the lowest number of cancer deaths. Through this we will be able to transform a country not a hopeless society but a society full of life expectancy,” he said. Power and Energy Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, who did not attend the event due to unavoidable circumstances, in his message while congratulating the project, said that Covid-19 takes one life a day, cancer kills about 38 persons a day.

Cancer is currently the leading non-communicable disease causing many deaths in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, 64 new cancer patients are diagnosed every day and 38 patients die. The PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography Scan) is currently being used to detect cancer at an early stage and to detect its spread throughout the body. This scan involves scanning a wiki to see how an injected radioactive drug spreads throughout the body