NEWS & ANALYSIS

Gauteng hospitals run out of key cancer drug – Jack Bloom

DA says fault lies with national health dept who ordered drug from local company that couldn't supply

Gauteng hospitals run out of key cancer drug

30 January 2017

Hospitals in Gauteng have run out of a key cancer drug that is used to increase the effectiveness of radiation treatment for cervical cancer.

Cancer departments have experienced problems in getting the anti-cancer drug Cisplatin since the beginning of this year.

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 6 February, but many cervical cancer patients will suffer because the radiation treatment is less effective without this drug and the cancer may recur.

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.

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 30 January 2017