The lack of some anti-cancer drugs noted in recent weeks is starting to worry patients while the ministry of health wants to be reassuring about the availability of these products, saying that the shortage in some of these drugs is due to “exogenous factors.”
Since last November, many patients suffering from cancer alerted the public authorities on the disruptions affecting the availability of some drugs, while others are totally lacking, which led the cancer-patients’ aid association Al Amel, operating nationally, to appeal to the ministry of Health concerning the effects of this situation on patients.
The president of this association Hamida Kettab told APS that some essential drugs for cancer patients “have not been available for over four months.”
In this regard, she insisted on the need to “allow compassionate use for some non-available and not-yet registered products in Algeria,” while regretting that the list of the products listed in the ministry’s latest communiqué “does not concern the ones that are widely used by cancer patients.”
For his part, the president of the National Algerian Union of Retail Pharmacists (SNAPO) Messaoud Belambri reiterated his request to give patients the treatments that could be administrated at home, orally, in 11.000 pharmacies located across the country in order to facilitate users’ access to drugs.
Belambri said that this request, submitted to the ministry for some years, is at the “reflection” phase.
However, the ministry of Health said, through its Communication adviser, Slim Belkessam that compassionate use “was allowed for some drugs for the treatment of cancer even after their registration.”