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Shortage of medication on market upsets Mindelo residents 31 Julho 2009

There is currently a shortage of a wide variety of different drugs on the island of São Vicente. In recent weeks, a number of patients have tried unsuccessfully to fill their prescriptions at all of the island’s pharmacies, while physicians have been forced to prescribe alternative medications to make up for the shortage, which, they say, is beginning to become a major concern.

All told, based on information gathered by A Semana Online, some 60 different drugs and other products are either scarce or entirely unavailable in the pharmacies of São Vicente – including band-aids, thermometers, antibiotics and more complex medications such as those intended for treating diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, Parkinson’s and thyroid.

“My son went two months without taking a vaccine – he was supposed to take three doses, but ended up being given just one – because the drug in question wasn’t available on the market. I know of someone who’s been looking for a gynecological medication for six months and can’t find it. She even tried to have someone send it to her from Praia, but was unable to find it there either,” exemplifies one Mindelo resident.

The situation has become almost tragicomic, according to our sources, with patients embarking on veritable pilgrimages to the island’s various different pharmacies before going back to the doctor’s office to exchange their prescription for another with an alternative medication. The problem now, however, is that the alternative medications are beginning to run out as well.

In order to avoid unnecessary visits, according to another source A Semana Online has spoken to, some pharmacies have sent physicians and private clinics a list of those drugs that are currently not on the market so that alternative drugs may be prescribed.

“The information we were given is that the rupture in medicine stocks, which has been dragging on for some time now, is due to the fact that the ship that was supposed to bring them has yet to arrive. We’ve been trying to compensate with alternative medications, but there are patients who are under strict medical control and don’t react well to other medications,” says one of A Semana Online’s sources.

Following is a list of the drugs not currently available on the São Vicente market:

ACICLOVIR 400MG CP ADALAT CR 30MG CP ALERJON COLIRIO ALUPENT CP BETA-HISTINA CP BENZAC GEL CANESTEN SOLUTO CARBAMAZEPINA 400 MG CP CEFUROXIMA 250MG CP CETIRIZINA CEFUROXIMA 500MG CP CICATRIN PO CETAMPRIL CP CORIN CP CICLOVIRAL CREME CLAVAMOX 125 MM SO COSOP COLÍRIO DEPO-PROVERA AMP INACID SUP DOLACEN GEL LANTIGEN B INFANTIL DOMPERIDONA LETTER CP ESTRADERM MX METFORMINA 500 MG CP FENIL – V SUP NEUROBION CP FENOLIP COLIRIO OLEOBAN CREME GYNO-DAKTARIN CREME OLEOBAN SABONETE HYDERGINE GTAS OXIDO ZINCO POMADA HEXTRIL SOLUTO PARLODEL CP INACID GEL PAUSIGYM CREME LACTACYD LIQ-BANHO PENSO RAPIDO MESTINON CP PETIDINA AMP PEPSAMAR S.O. PENICILINA PROCAINICA PEVARIL SPRAY REUMOXICAM CP PIRACETAM CP RIVANOL QUADRIDERME PDA SABONETE ALCATRÃO RONIC COLIRIO SINEMET 25/100 MG CP TAMOXIFENO 20MG CP STOP ACNE SABONETE TERMOMETRO VINGEL CP TONOSOL XPE VITERRA CP TANTUM VERDE SPRAY ZENTEL

In order to obtain an explanation for the rupture in drug stocks, A Semana Online tried to speak with the delegate of medication distribution company Emprofac on São Vicente, but was informed that she was in Praia. The president of the company and his substitute were both unavailable to provide declarations as well.

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