Recurrent drug shortages for children suffering from cancer have forced parents to take to the streets in various Mexican cities in order to highlight the crisis.
The latest demonstration took place in Guadalajara on Friday, July 3, when more than 200 people marched from the Minerva Glorieta to the Jalisco governor’s residence.
After meeting with representatives of the protesters, Governor Enrique Alfaro admitted that the shortage of cancer medicines for children at public hospitals in Guadalajara is a serious problem, and promised to raise the issue personally with IMSS national director Zoé Robledo.
Alfaro also said he will put 7.5 million pesos into an emergency fund to purchase cancer drugs in short supply as soon as they become available.
While the soaring cost of these medicines can be a major issue for parents, they are more concerned that the scarcity of the drugs is imperiling the lives of their children undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
The shortage of medicines needed to treat children with various kinds of cancer has been prevalent for almost two years. Parents throughout Mexico say treatments have frequently been interrupted as hospitals run out of drugs. Many children have only been able to continue with their chemotherapy cycles thanks to NGOs that have scrambled to find new supplies of drugs in the open market, often paying exorbitant prices.