10 July 2018

Sudan: Spike in Sudan's Medicine Prices to Continue - Medical Sources

Khartoum — Medical sources have predicted further increases in medicine prices in Sudanese pharmacies. People have complained about the new price hikes of medicines. New statistics have shown that there are 12,000 cases of cancer admitted to hospitals.

The price for 'Simpicor', a medicine for the treatment of asthma, has risen from SDG90 ($3.20*) to SDG254.5 ($9). Insulin has risen to SDG250 ($8.89) instead of SDG 220 ($7.81) a bottle. Some medicines that are included in the National Fund for Medical Supplies have become more expensive as well.

A number of pharmaceutical companies in Sudan have confirmed the scarcity of several medicinal products in the country. More than 200 types of medicines have become completely unavailable. Pharmaceutical companies are now forced to import medicine first and obtain the currency later, as banks in Sudan refuse to open credit or grant foreign currency. Most foreign and local companies, however, refuse to provide medicines without receiving payment in advance.

The shortage of foreign currency is impacting on industries and sectors dependent on imports, and the unprecedented deterioration of the Sudanese Pound has been reflected in the prices of medicines. Opposition parties reported that the situation has led to scarcity among certain medicines.

Several weeks ago the exchange rate of the Sudanese Pound against the US Dollar rose to an unprecedented SDG 40.5 instead of SDG 38.5, during Eid El Fitr. Foreign exchange traders attributed to the rise of the exchange rate and the recently replaced 50 Pound note.

Cancer

Yesterday, State Minister of Health Fardous Abdelrahman issued a decision to form a technical committee to fight cancer, after the recent rise in the number of cases.

New statistics have shown that there are 12,000 cases of cancer admitted to the hospital each year. Children account for eigth per cent of cancer patients. Half of the patients who suffer from leukemia are in need of immediate medical treatment. A large number of the cases are concentrated in El Gezira state, according to the statistics.

Khartoum hospitals witnessed many new cancer cases according to the state health minister in February. He explained at the time that the ministry lacks an official record because the registry of cancer cases does not happen consistently.

In the past years there was little information available about the exact number of cancer cases in Sudan. In October 2017, residents of Abu Hamed in northern Sudan's River Nile state reported an increase in the number of cancer patients in the area. This coincided with an increase in miscarriages and more dying birds. Residents pointed to companies in the area which allegedly used hazardous chemical substances in their processes.

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