Another chemo shortage at Joburg Hospital

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

Another shortage of a key chemotherapy drug has hit cancer patients at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.

Patients were told that the Oxaliplatin chemotherapy drug was not available from the supplier, and would possibly only be available at the end of July.

Oxaliplatin is used to treat colorectal cancer, usually together with other chemotherapy drugs.

In April this year there was a shortage of Gemzar for the treatment of breast cancer.

It is highly distressing that life-saving chemotherapy is interrupted because of drug shortages.

In the case of Mr Derrick Liebenberg (54), he was supposed to have his second dose of Oxaliplatin this week, but may not even get his third scheduled dose to treat his colon cancer.

More than 100 other cancer patients across the province will have their survival chances lowered by this drug shortage.

The Gauteng Health Department needs to explain why it has not managed to get reliable suppliers of chemotherapy drugs.

Emergency procurement from overseas should be considered to get vitally needed chemo drugs.