Health sector players lament high cost of drugs

STAKEHOLDERS in the health sector have appealed to private players to partner government in order to produce affordable medicines for people with eye challenges.

BY NUNURAI JENA

This came out last week during the official opening of the reconstructed and refurbished Norton Eye Hospital where Seeing is Believing co-ordinator Joas Figuieredo lamented the high price of drugs used by patients.

“The price of eye medicines such as Xalatan and Xalacom recommended for use is very expensive . . . a small bottle costs
between $35 and $40 that is beyond most of us. It is expensive,” Figuieredo said.

Norton Eye Hospital administrator Rebecca Nevanji concurred, saying the number of those seeking treatment at the hospital could have doubled if the medicines were affordable by ordinary people.

Health ministry official Milton Chemhuru, who stood in for Minister David Parirenyatwa appealed to private partners to chip in and make drugs available at a low cost.

“This is not for government alone, we appeal to private partners to put our heads together and make eye medicines available to our people at a low price,” he said.

Chief executive officer of the Council for the Blind, Aplos Nyathi said his association was concerned with the increase of people seeking eye treatment in the country. Nyathi said about 2 845 eye patients have been treated since last year and was hopeful that the targeted 7 000 patients would be reached by 2018.-Newsday

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