Combating Thalassemia In The UAE: How Affordable Generic Drug Is The New Hope For Patients?
Thalassemia: A Major Cause Of Concern In The UAE
According to the Ministry of Health and Prevention, at least 8.5% of the UAE’s population are thalassemia minors, those who carry the gene.
Yes! You read that right. This statistic is enough to send chills down our spines.
Thalassemia occurs due to decreased hemoglobin production and is one of the most common genetic blood disorders in the UAE.
Over the years, the UAE has used various forms of prevention, leading to a considerable reduction in the population of thalassemia major. However, as the number of thalassemia carriers remains high despite measures, it causes a potential risk of increasing the population of thalassemia major through carrier-carrier marriages.
In 2008, the UAE government launched a nationwide campaign to promote premarital screening, which since 2012, has been made compulsory for all couples who are planning to get married.
Let’s dig deeper in the dreadful disease to get important insights.
Symptoms Of Thalassemia
Thalassemia is a blood disorder passed from parents to children through genes and is extremely hard to prevent.
Thalassemia commonly occurs in Mediterranean countries, like Greece and Turkey, and people from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Some people born with thalassemia start experiencing health issues right after birth. On the other hand, the symptoms may not appear until at a later stage in childhood or even adulthood in some cases.
Some of the most common symptoms of thalassemia are:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Fragile bones (osteoporosis)
- Delayed growth
- Lack of appetite
- Heart-related problems
- Pale skin
- Darker yellow to light brown urine
Thalassemia Treatment In The UAE
Thalassemia is a significant threat in the UAE as the country has the highest carrier frequency globally of 49% of alpha-thalassemia. The doctor may suggest the course of treatment based on the severity of the case.
However, some thalassemia treatments include:
Thalassemia minors don’t require blood transfusions but patients with thalassemia major need lifelong regular blood transfusion.
Blood transfusions help in replenishing the hemoglobin and red blood cell levels.
Bone Marrow (Stem Cell) Transplant
Though risky, bone marrow is said to be the most effective and only treatment of thalassemia presently. The patient requires stem cells from a healthy donor with the same genetic makeup to get the transplant done. The medical procedure replaces damaged bone marrow with healthy cells.
Folic Acid Supplements
Folic acid supplements help treat anemia and may be recommended by the doctor along with other treatments. In addition, taking supplements may help people deficient in folic acid.
The patients may sometimes undergo surgery such as splenectomy to surgically remove an enlarged spleen, correction of facial deformities, and cholecystectomy for bilirubin gallstone formation.
According to a study, adding a functional gene to defective blood stem cells is a successful therapy for patients with severe beta-thalassemia.
However, scientists are still analyzing various gene therapy results as a potential treatment in thalassemia patients.
The iron chelation process removes excess iron from the body due to blood transfusion. Iron overload can cause severe damage to various body organs.
And with a vision to fight this deadly disease, We at Pharma Solutions, a UAE-based pharmaceutical platform have procured the first affordable generic drug for Thalassemia patients, cutting the treatment cost by almost 40%. The drug is an iron chelator used to treat patients with iron overload due to transfusion when the current chelation therapy is inadequate.
With a team of experienced professionals possessing extensive knowledge, we at PHARMA Solutions are assisting pharmaceutical and innovative healthcare companies aiming to venture into the emerging markets of the GCC & MENA region.
Actively involved in facilitating licensing, commercialization, marketing, and the distribution of FDA/EMA-approved innovative pharmaceuticals, we are strengthening the healthcare system of the UAE.
Connect with us today if you want to know more about the services and the first affordable generic drug for Thalassemia patients.
Visit our website.