With the help of an annual radiothon in the fall, the pharmacy at the Surrey branch of the BC Cancer Foundation has expanded.
On Thursday, (Jan. 28), the BC Cancer Foundation unveiled the Dukh Nirvaran Pharmacy at Surrey Memorial Hospital, a “state-of-the-art on-site pharmacy where life-saving chemotherapy treatments are prepared.”
The pharmacy, according to the foundation, is expected to prepare more than 20,000 IV chemotherapy medications and more than 20,000 oral prescriptions.
Funds for the expanded pharmacy were raised through the annual RED FM Gurpurab Radiothon in November 2020. During the 12-hour radiothon money raised was split between the BC Cancer Foundation and Surrey Hospitals Foundation.
In 2020, $188,565 was raised for the pharmacy.
“I am extremely proud of our community for coming together to help expand care in the region and make a real difference for families impacted by cancer,” says Kulwinder Sanghera, president, RED FM.
A release from the BC Cancer Foundation says that since 2018, the annual event has raised more than $563,000 “to help make the expanded pharmacy a reality and support the growing number of cancer patients in Surrey and surrounding cities.”
“I want to thank RED FM and each of the generous individuals who made this critical expansion of the pharmacy possible,” said Sarah Roth, president and CEO of BC Cancer Foundation.
“You have given the experts at BC Cancer the ability to provide more advanced treatments during an unprecedented time where the health of our communities has never mattered more.”
According to the foundation, it’s estimated that more than 10,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the Fraser Health region in 2021, with the region seeing “the most significant increase in cancer diagnoses in the province” over the next decade. The foundation says it will be about a 35-per-cent increase by 2031.
In 2020, the BC NDP promised to include a regional cancer treatment centre in the plans for Surrey second hospital in Cloverdale.
According to the province, the facility will include services such as treatment, supportive care, research, education and innovative technologies like virtual health.
It will be the province’s seventh regional cancer centre, with existing facilities in Surrey Memorial Hospital, Abbotsford, Vancouver, Kelowna, Prince George and Victoria.