Posted by Zach Edling on Nov 23, 2012 Leave a comment

‘Drug shortages put thousands of Colombians at risk’: chief medical expert

colombia news/medicine

Drug shortages could put the lives of 7,000 Colombian cancer patients at risk, said the President of the Colombian Medical Federation Friday.

According to Sergio Isaza, various hospitals reported “shortages of essential” cancer fighting drugs.

“If we continue like this for the next year we could have 7,000 deaths [due to] lack of treatment…deaths that could be prevented with timely intervention,” said Isaza.

Jaime Arias, President of the Colombian Association of Integral Medicine, explained that “several pharmaceutical companies simply stopped importing medicines [making Colombian hospitals] resort to costlier equivalents.”

Carlos Castro, the Director of the Colombian League Against Cancer, on Friday assured that “all efforts will be made to ensure treatments are not interrupted.”

To avoid this “catastrophe”, the Colombian Medical Federation has asked the government to increase its budget.

“You have to look at other options,” Isaza told Caracol Radio. “Colombia can produce more of these scarce drugs or the government can negotiate directly with the parent companies who produce these medicines.”

Three essential cancer fighting drugs have reportedly become difficult to manufacture because the raw materials needed to make them are becoming scarce.