Lebanon’s medicine shortages have reached critical levels that are threatening the lives of cancer patients, warned Hani Nassar, President of Barbara Nassar Association for Cancer Patients.
Barbara Nassar Association is a Lebanon-based NGO that seeks to support cancer patients in need by helping cover their treatment expenses, enhancing their hospitalization conditions, and offering them moral and financial support.
Nassar listed several medications essential for cancer patients that are no longer available in the local market, including Avastin (Bevacizumab), Herceptin (Trastuzumab), in addition to drugs used for boosting the immune system such as Zarxio and others.
“If my immunity is low, I can’t have my next session, even if my medicine is available,” he said, speaking for cancer patients in Lebanon.
“Today, in Lebanon, we’re not letting out a cry of ‘please, our medicines are about to run out.’ Our medicines have run out,” Nassar stressed.
“People are dying. Leukemia patients today… We’re seeing them dying in front of us,” he said tearfully. “And we can’t do anything.”
Nassar’s cry is one of many emerging from the healthcare sector in Lebanon.
Power outages, equipment costs, and, of course, medicine shortages, are all destabilizing the sector, which is already under pressure because of the pandemic.