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Online platforms help sick Egyptians find drugs

A medicine shortage produced by a currency valuation has Egyptians turning to the internet to locate donors and other sources for their medications.
A doctor buys face masks at a pharmacy in Cairo June 9, 2009. Egypt extended a quarantine of 234 people inside a dormitory at the American University in Cairo on Tuesday, ordering them isolated for a week after five more residents tested positive for the H1N1 flu, the university said. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (EGYPT ENVIRONMENT HEALTH) - RTR24HEL

"I found that coming up with an out-of-the-box solution to the medicine crisis in Egypt was something very important to many patients," said Khaled Omar, the founder of the Twitter Pharmacy (Saydalyet Twitter). Omar, an accountant, launched the project in November to fill the gap created by the demand for certain types of medicine that are in limited supply or have disappeared from many pharmacies in Egypt.

"My area [of expertise] is far from medicine, but I think that launching such an initiative is something so helpful and might save the lives of many patients," Omar said. The drug shortages in the Arab world's most populous country prompted him to engage pharmacists and their assistants to help him in providing information on where certain medicines can be found and encourage users through the internet to donate drugs that they do not need.

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