Sunday, December 17, 2017

Drug shortage killing cancer patients in need


Mark Fraser

 There is something seriously wrong in a country that because of poor management and the infamous excuse of “lack of funds”, cancer patients are made to suffer.

Nipdec (National Insurance Property Development Company Ltd) and the Ministry of Health are responsible for the distribution of drugs. But somehow, on a yearly basis, right before the national budget presentation, funds need to be approved and it takes months for Herceptin, Zoladex and other drugs to be available at cancer facilities across the country. 

Cancer patients need drugs to fight the disease. Missing a session or dosage of any drug can make treatment unsuccess­ful. To those in charge, it is a case of money. For cancer patients, it is a case of life and death. 

I listen when I visit the clinic. Doctors have lost patients because of this on a yearly basis. I know of patients who died due to missing treatments because the drugs were not available.

Empathy is required, and for those responsible for this shortage, ask yourselves: If I were these patients, if I had to face sickness and death the way they do and treatment drugs were not available, what would I do? 

I implore those in charge, please find some solution so

this problem can be addressed. 

S Freeman