‘Challenges’ with cancer drug at state hospitals


‘Challenges’ with cancer drug at state hospitals

TMG Digital | 2017-01-30 15:24:14.0

Cancer cells.

Image by: Thinkstock

There are challenges with the supply of the cancer drug Cisplatin‚ “which the National Department of Health is attending to”‚ the Gauteng Health department said on Monday.

The drug is used to increase the effectiveness of radiation treatment for cervical cancer‚ also utilised by paediatric oncology‚ and prescribed by clinicians in haematology.

Confirming the “challenges”‚ the department added: “MEC Qedani Mahlangu wishes to assure the public that drug stocks are at satisfactory level in all our facilities and there is no need to panic”.

Jack Bloom‚ a member of the Democratic Alliance‚ said earlier on Monday that hospitals’ cancer departments have experienced problems in getting the anti-cancer drug Cisplatin since the beginning of this year.

According to Bloom‚ “the fault lies with the national health department which issued the tender for this drug from a local company that couldn’t supply it”.

Alternative arrangements are being made to import Cisplatin by February 6‚ he said. However‚ he commented: “I am distressed that supplies of this crucial drug have been disrupted because of the national health department’s poor tendering practice for medicine‚ which led to some medicine shortages last year as well”.

“Medicine tendering procedures should be improved to ensure that companies can reliably deliver all critical drugs.”

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