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Viral Social Media Campaign Protests 'Ban on Imported Medicine' Despite Ministry Claims Otherwise

Despite conflicting claims from the Ministry of Health, a viral hashtag campaign is demanding a lift on the 'ban' on pharmaceutical imports kicks off after reports emerge of cancer patients dying due to shortages in Puri-netol, an immunosuppressive medication.

A viral hashtag campaign demanding an end to the 'ban' on pharmaceutical imports, #ارفعوا_الحظر_عن_استيراد_الدواء, kicked off earlier this week as citizen reports emerge of shortages in immunosuppressive medication, Puri-nethol, which is necessary for the treatment of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. 

A Facebook post calling on users to use copy statuses using the hashtag claims that there have been deaths among cancer patients, and that there isn't a single pack of Puri-nethol left in Egypt. However, the claims have been rebuked by the Health Ministry, whose spokesman, Rabie Yasseen, said that an inventory was conducted and that 8,000 packs of Puri-nethol were found, which is equivalent to a three-month supply, according to Al Bawaba News.

A pharmacist also told Al Watan that there is no shortage of Puri-nethol and that these are nothing but rumours. She also said that the drug wasn't available a month ago, but that that isn't the case anymore.