Several Cancer Meds Essential For Patients’ Survival Have Run Out In Lebanon

Head Of Lebanon's Barbara Nassar Association: "Cancer Patients Are Dying In Front Of Us" (Video)
Al-Akhbar/Haytham Al-Musawi

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.

In the wake of the crippling financial crisis that Lebanon is going through, the association has been facing difficulties in securing the necessary medicines for cancer patients.

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.

On top of that, the World Health Organization will reportedly only provide support for Lebanon’s hospitals when a new government is formed.

Meanwhile, the months-long political deadlock continues to block this vital political process that is currently the only hope for unlocking international support.

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