The problem of the shortage of medicines in general is becoming recurrent in Algeria. But there are categories of drugs which are more in need than others and which put patients and specialists in this sector in a critical situation, in particular anti-cancer drugs. Indeed, for years the oncology services across the national territory have faced numerous and recurring shortages of anti-cancer drugs. This has been accentuated in the past two years, with the Coronavirus health crisis which has shaken the whole world.
According to the French-speaking daily “El Watan”, Professor Kamel Bouzid, the president of the Algerian Society of Medical Oncology and head of the oncology department of the CPMC (Pierre and Marie Curie Center of the Mustapha Pacha University Hospital in Algiers), is ringing the bell alarm. The latter declared that: “Never has the medical oncology department of the CPMC experienced such a shortage of drugs, and this, since September 2020, denounced by the oncopediatricians and which continues to this day, and we are in June 2022. “.
According to Professor Bouzid, the situation is only getting worse and it is not likely to get better. This is due to the fact that many products have almost run out at the CHU Mustapha Pacha pharmacy. The available stocks can make them last two to three weeks. The same speaker does not fail to point out that this situation is the same in all the anti-cancer centers of the country.
The head of the medical oncology department thus evokes the reasons for these breaks, which according to him, are the multiplicity of stakeholders in the process of distributing these anti-cancer drugs. pointing fingers at the PCH (Central Hospital Pharmacy), which he said has had a monopoly on hospital drugs for decades. And this apart from external reasons, in particular the Covid-19 crisis which has generated concern about the availability of raw materials for this type of medicine.
Pr Bouzid deplores the shortage of support drugs
Professor Bouzid also deplores the lack of support drugs in the care of cancer patients, in particular, growth factors associated with high doses of chemotherapy, anti-vomiting, painkillers… Which means that people will die in suffering, which is unacceptable according to the Professor.
The head of the medical oncology department also returned to the innovative therapies that are still awaiting marketing. By indicating that it would suffice to put in place regulations allowing interchangeability as is done in other countries of the world.