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LAHORE: Dozens of cancer patients staged a protest here on Wednesday against the government for stopping provision of free supply of cancer drugs to poor patients and increasing the price of the cancer medicines.

The protesters blocked traffic and also shut down the Metro Bus Service at Kalma Chowk. The protestors demanded the authorities to withdraw increase in the price of the drug - Gleevec oral tablet which for a cancer patient costs Rs 0.4 million for a month. This medicine works as oxygen for cancer patients.

In a tweet, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz Sharif said: “Free medicine for cancer patients was stopped by the government which has itself become a cancer for Pakistan.”

She said: “In the name of free-cancer treatment, fundraising elements came to power and took away the right of government treatment for cancer patients.”

Pursuant to directions of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, a meeting of the cabinet committee on finance and development has been convened on Thursday (today) to allocate funds. It may be noted there are over 5,500 blood cancer patients enrolled at the government hospitals in Punjab and stoppage of medicines has put their health and lives at risk.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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