No money, no medicine

Staff Reporter

Poor haemophilia patients in trouble as supplies dry up

70 per cent of haemophilia patients in State belong to BPL families

Each dose of medicine costs about Rs. 5,500

Bangalore: Hundreds of poor haemophilia patients in the State have been put to hardship ever since the Government stopped the free supply of medicines to them two years ago, according to the Bangalore Chapter of Haemophilia Society.

Though Karnataka introduced a scheme for free supply of medicine called anti-haemophilia factors for below the poverty line (BPL) families in October 2005, public hospitals stopped supplying them from October 2006, said vice-president of the chapter, Vikash Goyal.

Speaking to presspersons in Bangalore on Sunday, he said the Government’s move has put several poor patients to hardship. According to him, there are 2,000 haemophilia patients in Karnataka and 600 of them are in Bangalore. “About 70 per cent of them belong to BPL families,” he said.

The numbers

Nineteen haemophilia patients from BPL families have died during the past two years due to lack of free medicines.

“Infusion of each dose of medicine costs about Rs. 5,500 and annually each patient would have to spend over Rs. 1 lakh on this essential medicine. None of the BPL families can afford to buy it,” General Secretary Ranjana Ramachander pointed out. The Haemophilia Society has been frequently approaching the officials of the Health Department for the last two years, besides bringing the plight of poor patients to the notice of Health Minister Sriramulu. “But nothing has moved the authorities so far,” Mr. Goyal said.

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