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Ensure availability of necessary medications

Nov 04,2018 - Last updated at Nov 04,2018

I am most surprised to find that certain essential medicines are not available in Jordan, and I am wondering why the Ministry of Health does not take measures to ensure that they are available on the market.

I require a medicine known by its commercial name of "Gastrofait" for my very elderly mother, who had a near fatal stomach bleed last week. Her doctor prescribed this medicine for her, but it is not being imported, and all the pharmacies that I have tried do not stock it.

Upon making enquiries, I discovered that “Gastrofait”, known by the pharmaceutical name of Sucralfate, is manufactured by an Egyptian pharmaceutical company, which has stopped manufacturing it because it has run out of raw materials, according to the importing agent, whom I contacted.

Sucralfate is a medication that patients with ulcers and other severe stomach problems depend on and there are almost certainly other commercial brands around the world in which it must be available. How come that such a basic and essential medication is unavailable in Jordan, and why does the Ministry of Health not take steps to ensure that it is available, in whatever commercial brand that is manufactured and can be imported?

Is it acceptable to deprive patients whose lives may depend on taking such medicines from access to them? Should ensuring the availability of necessary medications not be one of the basic services that the Ministry of Health provides to Jordanian citizens?


Samira Kawar

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