A Lebanese Doctor Is Sharing His Patients’ Struggles To Find Cancer Medications

@Annoir_Sh | AP

Dr. Annoir Shayya, an M.D. in Hematology and Medical Oncology, posted on Twitter the daily struggles that his patients go through to find cancer drugs:

“After 2 hours of clinic this morning: a 53-year-old lady with curable breast cancer can’t find Trastuzumab, a 56-year-old lady with CLL (a malignancy with a very good prognosis on treatment in 2022) can’t find Ibrurtinib, and a 48-year-old lady with brain cancer can’t find Avastin.”

“Long story short, patients in Lebanon are being thrown back to archaic ages in cancer therapy due to a lack of medications. We are losing lives left & right due to a ruthless regime that fails to acknowledge and solve this issue quickly,” Dr. Shayya added.

The daily hardships of cancer patients in Lebanon do not end there, according to a recent report by local media Annahar. Hospitals in Lebanon are running out of morphine.

In the report, a sister of a cancer patient, Elsy Aoun, appealed that her brother cannot find the medication he needs anywhere, “We only have morphine left for 10 days. What are we supposed to do after that?” she said.

Last week, the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Firas Abiad, informed importers of the approval to transfer 13 million and 300 thousand dollars to import drugs for cancer and other chronic diseases.

However, the shortage of medicines in the country has been persisting for a while, imposing a constant death threat on many patients in Lebanon.

The socio-economic crisis and the government-declared lack of necessary funds to keep medication subsidies had inflicted a shortage of medicines on the people, compelling many patients to stop their treatment; some of which are life-critical.

Controversially, the Lebanese government recently approved the allocation of $18 million to hold the upcoming parliamentary election.

Just a few weeks ago, a cancer patient, known for her activism in that regard, died after struggling with cancer due to a shortage of treatment, which triggered a wave of outrage in the country.

Fawzia Fayad was only 24-year old when she passed away

A Lebanese tweeted back then, “It is written that we die conquered in this country from lack of medicine, lack of conscience, lack of morals, and lack of mercy.”