Amid protests over ‘shortage’ of HIV drugs, government says there is enough stock

Protesters, however, continue to sit outside the office of the National AIDS Control Organization, demanding that all drugs be made available and that sufficient supplies be maintained so that pills for an entire month can be taken. be distributed at one time.

HIV AIDS, HIV Drugs, HIV Patients, HIV Treatment, Dolutegravir Pill, Indian Express, India News, News, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsPLHIV started their protest on July 21 after stocks of some medicines ran out, even in the capital.

Amid protests over drug shortages and stock-outs of people living with HIV (PLHIV), the Union Department of Health, in response to a question from Parliament, said there is a stock enough drugs for 95% of people on treatment and that there is three months of nationally available stock of the three-drug Dolutegravir combination pill.

“There is an adequate stock of ARV drugs nationally for about 95% of PLHIV in India who are on various 1st and 2nd line ARV regimens…+Dolutegravir), for which there is about 3 months stock nationally says the written response from the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharti Pravin Pawar.

Protesters, however, continue to sit outside the office of the National AIDS Control Organization, demanding that all drugs be made available and that sufficient supplies be maintained so that pills for an entire month can be taken. be distributed at one time. PLHIV started their protest on July 21 after stocks of some drugs ran out, even in the capital.

Harishanker, one of the protesters associated with the Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP Plus), said, “Let’s go back to their statement: there are nearly 15 lakh people on ART (antiretroviral therapy) across the country. If drugs are not available for even 5%, it affects 75,000 people living with HIV. Stopping treatment is a death sentence for PLHIV.

He added that the shortage was never for the single combined TLD pill, instead of the separate Dolutegravir 50mg pill. “The combined pill is available, yes. The problem is with the separate Dolutegravir 50mg pill, which is given to PLHIV who have TB and many on second and third line therapies,” he said, adding that many people have come back empty handed from the hospital. one of the largest ART centers in Delhi at Lok. Nayak Hospital just a day ago.

In addition, there is also a shortage of Lopinavir/Ritonavir which is prescribed for children and nevirapine syrup given to infants in many states, he said.

“The status of ARV stocks is rigorously monitored by NACO. There are no reported stock-outs of ARV drugs at the state level,” the parliament response said.

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The response also stated: “If there is an issue of occasional anticipated shortages, proactive measures are taken to ensure an uninterrupted supply of ARV drugs to all PLHIV through immediate relocation of nearby ART centers or other states. In addition, state/district AIDS Societies are permitted to make local emergency purchases of ARV drugs (as needed and as an interim measure) from their budgeted grant. A sufficient budget is allocated under “ARV for exceptional cases” for the 36 SACS within the framework of NACO’s annual action plan for the local emergency purchase of ARV drugs. »

Protesters said some of the “proactive” states had indeed procured the drugs locally, but others continued to face a shortage due to the interruption of the national supply after the failure of the appeal. offers.

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