Tuesday , June 28 2022

Kenya: Cancer drugs out of Govt's list of essential drugs


The state agency responsible for purchasing drugs in public hospitals does not manufacture cancer drugs, with an increase in deaths and acute shortages.

Kenya Medicines Authority (Kemsa) Cancer drugs are not listed among essential drugs for diseases like malaria, HIV / AIDS and tuberculosis despite the disease killing 32,987 Canians annually.

Revelation comes as Kenya is experiencing a public health crisis following a severe shortage of mercaptopurine, which is used to treat leukemia, and carboplatin that fights ovaries, oisophageal, bladder, breast, lung and cervical cancer.

The absence of cancer drugs from the list of essential drugs of KMSA is in contradiction with the World Health Organization (WHO), which included the drugs in the grade of critical health products.

Kemsa general manager Jinhua Vangui said cancer products were not among the company's essential drugs, adding that they would begin placing orders for drugs this year.

"We have evaluated and found the lowest contenders, and next Thursday there will be anti-cancer drugs, although the Kenyatta National Hospital does not receive drugs from Xmas," Mwangi said. Mercaptopurine, a chemotherapy drug, is managed at KNH, which treats about 90% of cancer patients in public hospitals and endangers the lives of those with leukemia at risk.

The shortage began in August. KNH said that it expects supplies at the end of the day yesterday.

Mr. Mwangi said they did not accept offers for mercaptopurine

"The offeror is unable to supply the drug at a competitive price, and therefore the Authority will purchase directly from manufacturers in India or Europe," he said.

He said the Authority was not to blame for not raising cancer drugs because public hospitals did not demand them.

"Most hospitals buy directly from the manufacturers and only turn to KMSA when there is a problem, if they can offer us, so we will have them in our warehouses and avoid the crisis," says Mwangi.

It is still not known when drugs will be transferred to the country to put more life at risk.

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