200 patients suffer the lack of cellceptWho is responsible? [Archives:2005/851/Health]

June 16 2005

by Wrda Al-Athi
For the Yemen Times

It becomes normal to hear many stories that reflect the suffering of patients in our country, and the ministry of health is the one mostly to be blamed.

This time the claim comes from the patients who underwent kidney transplant operations. They are suffering now from the lack of medicine on which their kidneys deepend. Cyclosporine ( 25-50mg ), whose packet is cost 10.000YR, Cellcept ( 30.000 YR) and A,Gongraf ($250) .

These drugs are very important because their abilities to suppress the action of body's immune system in rejecting foreign tissue following kidney transplant operation. However, there is some risk of potentially severe kidney damage, so care must be taken in administering the drug .

Although Cellcept is approved recently by the present minister of health Dr.Mohammed Al -Numi, this medicine is rarely found. Since its existence depends on the agreement of the bid between Medicine Fund in ministry of health and NATCO, the only agent that exports the medicine.

In June 23, 2004, Al-Rahma Association For Kidney Transplant complained because of the lack of Cyclosporine ( 25-50mg ) for seven months. That made the patients using Cyclosporine ( 100 mg ) randomly and was infected kidney failure. The claim mentioned that medicine fund had not provided Cellcept that the minister had sanctioned.

In April ,23,2005 the same association raised an appeal to presidency office asking the pervious demands with reference to that the available Cellcepts are only enough for emergent cases , and cannot cover the needs of 200 patients.

On the other hand, the medicine fund sent a massage to NATCO company in April, 11, 2005 asking them to export 2500 packets of cellepts. In April,12,2005 , the medicine fund asked NATCO to provide them with 300 packets of Mycophenolate 500mg , i.e. 10% of Cellcept . According to that, medicine of fund is provided with small quantities of Cellcept that are used for emergencies. Whereas each patient needs to survive 3 packets in each 27 days.

Patients' groans

Many patients are forced to sell their properties to cover the expenses of their traveling and living in Sana'a to buy these drugs which are not available in their governorates.

Adel Mohammed Shaher – 43 years old, comes frequently from Taiz to Sana'a to buy the medicine from the central pharmacy in Al-Gumohori Hospital ” if I don't buy the pills