SHORTAGE of basic cancer drugs in Pakistan for an extended period of time has taken toll on the poor patients which must be tackled urgently by the authorities concerned.
According to a press release on Sunday, Mian Aftab, president of an NGO working in health sector, said that the government permitted seven different companies for importing Cyclophosmamide and Doxorubaicin but these companies had stopped imports for various reasons, creating an acute shortage of the medicine in the country. He said that the hoarders and smugglers had found situation favourable, resulting in availability of medicine of questionable quality at some places in different trade names on unreasonably high rates which is out of the reach of majority of patients. He alleged the role of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) was not laudable as they have not been taking action, paving the way for artificial shortage. Many private and public sector hospitals in the country were facing problems due to the shortage but nothing had been done to improve the situation. He said the government’s lethargy had been helping no one except greed-driven businessmen, therefore it should tackle the issue urgently.