Govt. Should Ensure Fair Price of Cancer Drugs

By IBCS   |   Thursday, 07 February, 2013

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 4 : Cancer may be a dreaded word, but one needs to fight back with the support of the family, society and the administration, speakers, many of whom themselves had survived the lethal blow, said at a seminar here on Monday.

    “Once a person is afflicted with cancer, it is not that a cure is not possible. But one has to fight back”, eminent film personality Hara Pattanaik, who battled the disease to make a comeback, said while addressing the seminar entitled “Steps of Hope: A Celebration of Cancer Survivors” at the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) and Sum Hospital run by the SOA University.

    The seminar was organized by the surgical oncology department of the hospital to mark the World Cancer Day on Monday.

    Actor-Director Pattanaik, who got treated at the Christian Medical College Hospital at Vellore, recounted his experience as he grappled with the disease which, he said, could be defeated.

    Prominent journalist Dilip Satpathy, who was struck by multiple myeloma affecting the plasma cells of the bone marrow over a decade ago, said once a person is afflicted by the disease it not only makes the person depressed but also becomes a psychological and financial burden on the family.

    Satpathy said that cancer drugs available in the market were being sold at a much higher price than they ought to be priced which needed the intervention of the government. He advised the Sum Hospital authorities to make the cancer medicines available in the hospital at the proper price and start departments of medical oncology and radiology as well.

    Sarada Prasanna Mishra, a senior government official, who was also hit by the disease, said those successfully fending off cancer should be described not as survivors but “cancer conquerors”. Prominent music director Manmath Mishra also spoke on the occasion.

The programme, attended by Prof. D.K.Ray, Dean of IMS and Sum Hospital and Prof. P.K.Mohanty, Medical Superintendent, was coordinated by Dr. Sunil Agrawalla, Surgical Oncologist in the hospital with the help of Dr. Harsh Pathak, Oral Surgeon of the Institute of Dental Sciences (IDS), also run by SOA University. Around twenty cancer survivors attended the meet and interacted with the media and medical fraternity about their experiences.

    Dr. Ranjit Kar, Radiologist at the Panda Curie Cancer Hospital near Cuttack, also spoke on the burden of cancer while pointing out that 40 per cent of all cancers could be prevented while the rest could be detected, treated and cured.

    Dr. Agrawalla said that anyone getting afflicted by cancer should not take it to be a “death sentence” as many believe. Patients being treated at the Sum Hospital were informed that the disease could be effectively tackled by following the right protocol and strategies.

    Dr. Pathak said that once a person was hit by cancer, the fear of the disease and increased cost of treatment clouded the mind while the patient did not have a clear idea as to where he should go for treatment. He said a survey report showed that a person, on an average, spent Rs. 14,597 before reaching the proper centre for treatment.

    The need is early detection and the right treatment, he said while adding that the Sum Hospital provided surgery and other treatment to cancer patients at the minimum cost.

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