Thalassaemia patients await govt help

Kathmandu, May 8 

Minister of State for Health Padma Aryal today said the ministry was unable to provide fund for the treatment of thalassaemia patients this fiscal due to lack of budget.

Speaking at the 25th International Thalassaemia Day organised by Nepal Thalassaemia Society, State Minister Aryal said the ministry would allocate budget for thalassaemia and sickle cell anemia patients, along with eight other diseases, from next fiscal.

However, director at Department of Drug Administration Narayan Prasad Dhakal has promised to manage required medicines for Thalassaemia patients. He asked NTS to prepare a list of drugs required for thalassaemia patients.

He also said that DDA had given permission to NTS to buy drugs close to expiration date as they were very expensive. “Since there are very few patients of thalassaemia, DDA did not include the drugs in the procurement list,” Dhakal said, adding, “DDA will focus on the production such drugs within the country.”

There has always been shortage of medicines for thalassaemia patients, which creates difficulty for both patients and their family members. Kamala Dhungana, the mother of a thalassaemic patient, shared that most of the drugs brought by pharmacies were illegally imported and so they sold the medicines at higher prices.