Thalassaemia patients face medicine crunch

Kathmandu, October 30

Shortage of medicines required for the treatment of thalassaemia has hit patients hard of late.

There are around 600 children who are undergoing treatment for thalassaemia in different hospitals of the country.

According to Durga Pathak, President of Nepal Thalassaemia Society, medicine for thalassaemia is not easily available in all the pharmacies of the country as the medicine is not registered with the Department of Drug Administration.

The drug is directly imported from India.

Nepal Thalassaemia Society is putting in all efforts to take permission from DDA to make these medicines available at all the pharmacies.

Angel Dhungana, 9, of Narayantar is a patient of thalassaemia. He has been diagnosed with jaundice, hepatitis and blood cancer. His mother Kamala Gajurel said, “It is very difficult to find medicine in the market and my son needs them at any cost. We need around Rs 4,000 every month for his medicines.” “Medicines are very important for children diagnosed with thalassaemia,” said, Dr Ajit Rayamajhi, former director at Kanti Children’s Hospital.

Only Yeti Chame, a medicine importer at Sundhara, has been supplying the medicine to these patients,” said Pathak. We have taken permission from the DDA to import deferiprone, but we are yet take permission to import deferasirox from India.

“Due to less demand for this medicine, pharmaceutical companies are unwilling to register the medicines with the DDA which is why there is very less availability of this medicine. We have registered the medicines which are tested as safe and effective meeting all criteria,” said Director of DDA, Narayan Dhakal. He further said the government should itself import the medicines that are in low demand.