Thousands of expired drugs used in cancer treatment were found in two warehouses in Lebanon on Friday.
The warehouses, located in the Ain El-Mraisseh area of Beirut, were raided by a patrol of the Lebanese Army Intelligence Directorate.
At least one of them was being operated by the Beirut-based pharmaceutical company Macromed, owned by the former head of the Order of Pharmacists in Lebanon, Rabih Hassouna, according to Al-Akhbar.
In a statement about the raid, the Lebanese Army said that its units had uncovered “a huge amount of medicines prepared for sale on the black market, a large part of which is used to treat cancer patients, and some of them are expired.”
The drugs were all seized and handed to the Health Ministry, based on a judicial notice, the army said.
On the same day, caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan raided a separate warehouse in the Fayyadieh area, where “millions of drugs” of hundreds of different types were found, the official announced afterward.
The warehouse was also found to be unlicensed, and the medicines it had been storing included subsidized drugs as well as older, unsubsidized ones.
Notably, the raids took place on the same day cancer patients in Lebanon rallied for a protest demanding access to their necessary medications.
Cancer patients, among many other patients with chronic and incurable illnesses, have been suffering from the severe shortage of medicine in the country, a crisis greatly exacerbated by illegal stockpilers and black-market traders.