High cost of cancer medicines leads to high mortality rate


At a webinar around the theme “Inequities to cancer medicines in South Africa”, Prof Fatima Suleman from UKZN said research has found that 9% of adult mortality was caused by cancer with the projection that this would worsen over the next 10 years. This was the direct result of the high cost of medicines, the required care for patients as well as unfactored costs of chemotherapy such as buying wigs and securing transport to the therapy. The cost of cancer therapy in SA starts at a staggering R1-m, with each treatment costing at least R25 000 - something completely unaffordable for public sector patients, said Suleman. She suggested that southern African countries collaborate to increase their purchasing power of these medicines.


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