Cancer medications in short supply as hospitals battle COVID-19 south of the border


Chemotherapy treatments in Mexico are in short supply due to scarcity of medications used in oncological treatments. (Photo by Martí Navarro/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Dozens of cancer patients staged a demonstration outside one of Tijuana’s largest hospitals to complain about the lack of cancer medications in the city.

Some say their chemotherapy has been on hold for months due to the lack of meds for their oncological treatments.

Maricruz Munoz told reporters it’s not just breast-cancer patients like herself who are suffering, but men with prostate cancer and childhood cancer patients.

“The hospitals just say ‘sorry we don’t have the medications,'” Cruz said. “It’s no use getting chemo if they don’t have the adequate medications, but the cancer could be spreading to other parts of your body.”

One hospital said they are dependent on the state providing clinics with the necessary drugs for treatment, but that the medicines have been “scarce.”

Tijuana’s General Hospital said that since it was designated as a COVID-19 center, other treatments have been displaced or postponed.

Alberto Reyes, a hospital executive said he understands people’s concerns and assured people he and the hospital are doing everything possible to get the meds to people, and that by Oct. 2, they will resume providing cancer treatments.

Reyes said his facility and others in Tijuana are not the only ones experiencing shortages.

“This is on a national level, our state is trying to purchase meds in bulk as we’ve done with other medications in the past,” he said.

Reyes also said the hospital will inform patients the minute their treatments are ready.

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