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Medicine crisis in Egypt causing millions to suffer

Economic problems in post-revolution Egypt seem to be affecting the country's ability to make or get proper medications to millions of citizens across the nation, IRIN reports.

Rifaat Mahmud, a day worker, used to be able to purchase medication for his 13-year-old daughter who suffers from aortic stenosis, which causes reduced blood flow between the left ventricle and the aorta. Now, he can't locate it anywhere in the region.

"The medicine is nowhere to be found. Pharmacists tell me the drug companies stopped producing my daughter's medicine," Mahmud told the news source.

Egypt once had over 120 pharmaceutical companies that imported medicines, but over the past few months 80 of the companies have closed and more are expected to follow.

"Revolution-induced economic and security deterioration caused a 50 percent drop in national medicine production at least," Makram Mahana, chairman of the Pharmaceutical Industry Section of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), told the news source.

If this doesn't change, over eight million people with diabetes and four million with blood pressure problems as well as citizens using heart medication and even those with cancer won't be able to live healthy for much longer, Khalid Al Ruby, an independent drug expert told the news outlet. He added that the government and humanitarian groups need to bail out the pharmaceutical industry in order to combat this growing problem.
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