HIV patients were struggling to take a drug called dolutegravir. There was a severe shortage of dolutegravir and some other drugs used in HIV treatment.
Image Credit source: Medicine Net
National Organization of People with HIV NCPI Plus After a protest of more than 40 days (21 July to 31 August 2022) led by the Delhi Network of Positive People with the support of organizations other than the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya And National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) officials have resumed a month’s supply of HIV drugs to every state in the country over the past weekend. He has also set up a mechanism at NACO Headquarters to avoid such shortage of medicines in future. With careful planning, drug shortages can be completely avoided.
The AIDS Society of India (ASI) has praised the move to resume the supply of HIV drugs across the country. The organization has said that it appreciates the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and its National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) for playing a big role in solving the stockout and shortage of HIV drugs in some states of the country.
Supply chain of medicines will be monitored
As per the Government Order dated 29 August 2022, a ‘Coordination Room’ has been set up at NACO Headquarters, where officials and people living with HIV will work jointly to anticipate any future shortages and provide HIV medicines, kits. and will oversee the availability, supply chain and distribution of other items.
TV9 had earlier reported that HIV patients are struggling to take a drug called dolutegravir. A severe shortage of dolutegravir and some other drugs used in HIV treatment forced government-run antiretroviral centers in Maharashtra, Mizoram and Nagaland to either stop supplying patients or switch them to a different drug. Asked patients in Assam and Manipur to buy medicines and decided to pay them on the basis of receipts. However, Kerala managed to ensure the supply of medicines to a large extent. However, despite having sufficient stock of antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs, it hardly had stocks to last for a month.
Efforts to end AIDS by 2030
In a letter, the ASI said, “Forecasting is essential for monitoring the supply chain so that essential HIV drugs, kits and other items reach every HIV care center across the country.” The next 99 months (by 2030) are a modest but necessary step towards making progress towards ending AIDS. This is no less important than resuming a month-long supply of HIV drugs across the country without any hindrance. The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP PLUS) and several other state networks and other professional associations such as the ASI supported the call for an end to the stockout of essential medicines.
India has come a long way in reducing the number of new HIV infections as well as bringing life-saving and lifelong antiretroviral therapy to 1.6 million people. The ASI said, “While ensuring uninterrupted supply of medicines up to 16 lakh, we have to reach the remaining 7 lakh, the estimated number of HIV victims in India, 24 lakh, and provide them with tests and medicines and ensure that Let that viral remain suppressed.
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