Cancer drugs prices shoot up

HARARE - Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals has in the last three months hiked chemotherapy drugs prices by up to seven times, a top official has confirmed.

Director of the Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) Clinic at Parirenyatwa Hospital, Margaret Borok said the drugs, priced between $10 and $70, had escalated steeply because of the rise in price from suppliers.

“Some of the chemotherapy drugs have gone up about three times or eight times in the last three months, depending on the shipment,” Borok said at a cancer prevention workshop on Tuesday.

Borok said the clinic attended to at least 50 to 80 patients per day who suffer from KS, which is a cancer that causes patches of abnormal tissue to grow under the skin, in the lining of the mouth, nose, and throat or in other organs.

KS is common in HIV-positive patients.

“Nine percent of all cancer deaths were due to KS in 2012,” she said.

“And we have figured that we have more patients than what the (Cancer) Registry would have made us believe.

“Some of the things that have affected the effective treatment of KS include transport because of the distance from a tertiary facility and poverty because of competing priorities and the cost of chemotherapy, as well as the individual perception of the illness,” Borok said.

Cancer has become so pervasive that it touches virtually every family in this country. And as anyone who has been through it knows, the shock and anxiety of the diagnosis is followed by a second jolt: the high price of cancer drugs.

Cancer stakeholders at the workshop said there was need to rigorously deal with the diseases with the same effort that government and donors had dealt with HIV and malaria.

They said most donors were not willing to cover cancer, a factor which has affected research and awareness of the disease in Zimbabwe

Apart from KS, some of the cancers which have become major killers in Zimbabwe include cervical cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Comments (3)

When old doors close new ones open. Its high our mainstream healthcare system move away from the highly toxic chemotherapy drugs which even the Oncologists do not use when they have cancer. There are alternative natural therapies which cure cancer with causing any harm to our bodies. People of Zimbabwe take note ; Western Foods with chemicals cause Western Diseases to be cured by the trillion dollar Western Pharmaceutical drugs. Lets go back to great grandparents diet and move away from the refined foods which cause refined diseases

Holistic - 21 August 2015

lets eat natural healthy food ..ask elderly people what they were eating..lets believe in them..

tizex - 22 August 2015

I lost my son to cancer and if i read isues like this were drugs are said to have gone high l just feel bad.People who never gone through trying times like these think its easy

sindiso mugore - 23 August 2015

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