Second-line ARVs run low as global supply wobbles

A global shortage of an active ingredient in an ARV offered to patients living with HIV and on second-line treatment has led to a limited supply of the medication.

The ARV with the substance Lamivudine is essentially used by people with more than one strain of HIV and have to ingest a cocktail of drugs to deal with each strain they’ve contracted.

They only account for 6% of patients, for whom the shortages are a reality.

Department of Health deputy director-general Dr Anban Pillay explains.

We are not in an out-of-stock situation; we are in a shortage situation so in other words if we ordered a hundred units, we are probably getting about 70% of those.

Dr Anban Pillay, Deputy director-general - Department of Health

We currently have enough stock to go around, all patients should still get their stock however the quantity that the company is able to produce is less than what is ideal. That is why we are advising facilities to move stock around where somebody is keeping too much stock.

Dr Anban Pillay, Deputy director-general - Department of Health

The second thing we have done is in some cases we give patients three months worth of stock and say only come back in three months time because you are fairly stable and we don't need to see you again.

Dr Anban Pillay, Deputy director-general - Department of Health

He says if these measures fail, they will switch patients to an alternative regimen.

Click on the link below to hear more from Pillay...


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