Medical and Pharmaceutical

Pharmaceutical industry was identified as one of the potential industries that could bring Sri Lanka enormous economic benefits as it could attract FDI, earn foreign exchange through exports and save foreign exchange by way of import substitution.

Medical and pharmaceutical expenditure of the country during 2020 was recorded at US$ 599.5 million. By 2022, the market is expected to reach a value of USD750 million, posting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1%. 

In 2019, medical & pharmaceutical products imports reached a value of USD 553 million which accounts for 2.8% of total imports and this is expected to reach $ 700 million by 2025, a CAGR of 4%. Currently, 85% of Pharmaceutical needs are imported and about 15 local manufacturing plants including SPMC provide the balance 15% of the requirement with an estimated value of Rs 18 Bn annually.

Potential Activities for investments

Pharmaceuticals, Medicinal Chemical and Botanical Products Manufacturing Facilities

  • Formulation of antibiotics
  • Manufacture of antibiotics
  • Formulation of Other products (chemical/plant extracts)
  • Manufacture of other products (chemical/plant extracts)
  • Manufacture of three types of main Radio-pharmaceuticals commonly used in cancer treatment (I-131, TC-99, F-18). 
  • Manufacture of Cosmetic products
  • Manufacture of Ayurvedic drugs
  • Manufacture or Assembling of medical devices

Related Ancillary Facilities

  • R&D facilities, including biotechnology research and production
  • Laboratory testing facilities

International Brands

Medical and Pharmaceuticals Imports (2010 – 2020) Quantity (MT’000)

Source : CBSL

Medical and Pharmaceuticals Imports (2010 – 2020) Value (USD Mn)

Source : CBSL

Medical Devices

Medical devices ranging from common medical supplies such as latex gloves and syringes to advanced imaging equipment and implantable devices, are expected to reach a global market of an estimated USD 409.5 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 4.5%. This growth is mainly driven by global healthcare expenditure, technological development, and a rise in chronic diseases.

The ASEAN medical device market growth, heavily influenced by its growing population, rapidly aging population and strong economic growth, is expected to reach USD 8.5 billion by 2020 with a CAGR of 10%. In view of this potential, a significant number of global medical device manufacturers have embarked on expansion plans into this market by actively engaging local healthcare institutions and other key stakeholders.

A growing population and a public sector led medical care establishment which faces strong competition from a dynamic private sector means Sri Lanka is an optimal location for manufacturers looking to supply a growing local market while establishing operations in a country with favorable market & logistical access to Asia and Europe.

400+ Registered importers of medical devices


Sri Lanka is expected to grow upto USD 165 Mn with a steady growth rate of 9.5% in 2018

Rs. 178 Bn. Allocated for healthcare and Rs 8 Bn+ allocated for purchase of medical equipment

1.5% Of Sri Lanka GDP is spent on health


Key Markets