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Medicine shortages leaving Turks desperate for help

Patients who depend on pharmaceutical imports for the treatment of cancer and other chronic illnesses suffer as the government fails to reach a price agreement with suppliers.

In January, Dilek Ozcelik, a 27-year-old lymphoma patient, passed away. Ozcelik had made the news in 2013 when she asked for help from Erdogan Bayraktar, who was then Turkey's minister of environment and urban planning. Ozcelik refused the roll of cash Bayraktar handed to her. “I am not a beggar,” she said.

She needed access to medicines that weren't available in Turkey.

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