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Cuba develops new arthritis drug in face of U.S. embargo

02-16-2011 15:17 BJT

HAVANA, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Cuban scientists have developed a new arthritis drug to replace a similar imported drug blocked by the U.S. economic sanctions, a health official said here on Tuesday.

The new radiopharmaceutical medicine developed by the Isotopes Center of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment is named "P32 chromic phosphate."

Enrique Garcia Rodriguez, chief of Nuclear Medicine of the General Hospital "Enrique Cabrera" in Havana, P32 phosphate is similar to the U.S. product "Fosfocol."

The therapy involves injecting the drug into the joints with chronic synovial inflammation to reduce the pain and improve the joints' function.

He said by this way, it is possible to avoid painful operations.

In Cuba, there are about 115,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that mainly affects women after the age of 30, while synovitis associated with osteoarthritis mostly affect the elderly.

More than 300 Cubans suffer from hemophilia, a genetic blood disorder.

According to Rodriguez, Cuban patients previously had to go to Europe, Canada, Japan, Argentina, Mexico or Colombia for "complex operations."

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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