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Amid protests over HIV medication ‘scarcity’, govt says sufficient inventory

Amid protests on drug scarcity and stock-outs by individuals residing with HIV (PLHIV), the Union Well being Ministry in reply to a Parliament query has mentioned that there’s sufficient inventory of medicines for 95% of these on therapy and there’s a three-month inventory accessible nationally of the three-drug Dolutegravir mixture capsule.

“There may be sufficient inventory of ARV medicines nationally for round 95% PLHIV in India who’re on numerous 1st and 2nd line ARV regimens….a lot of the PLHIV in India are on the only capsule Dolutegravir-based routine (Pill TLD: Tenofovir+Lamivudine+Dolutegravir), for which there’s round 3 months’ inventory nationally,” mentioned the written reply of Minister of State for Well being and Household Welfare Dr Bharti Pravin Pawar.

The protesters, nevertheless, proceed to take a seat exterior the workplace of Nationwide AIDS Management Organisation, demanding that each one the medicines be made accessible and adequate inventory be maintained in order that drugs for a complete month could be allotted in a single go. The PLHIV began their protest on July 21 after shares of among the medicines ran out even within the capital.

Harishanker, one of many protesters related to the Delhi Community of Optimistic Folks (DNP Plus), mentioned: “Let’s go by their assertion: There are almost 15 lakh individuals on ART (anti-retroviral remedy) throughout the nation. If the medication should not accessible even for five%, it impacts 75,000 individuals with HIV. Going off therapy is a loss of life sentence for PLHIV.”

He added that the scarcity was by no means of the TLD mixture single capsule, as an alternative of the separate Dolutegravir 50mg capsule. “The mixture capsule is offered, sure. The issue is with the separate Dolutegravir 50mg capsule, which is given to PLHIV who’ve tuberculosis and plenty of on second and third line therapies,” he mentioned, including that many individuals returned empty-handed from one of many largest ART centres in Delhi at Lok Nayak hospital simply sooner or later in the past.

As well as, there’s additionally a scarcity of Lopinavir/Ritonavir that’s prescribed to kids and nevirapine syrup given to infants in lots of states, he mentioned.

“The ARV inventory standing is monitored stringently by NACO. There isn’t any reported inventory out for ARV medication on the state stage,” the Parliament reply acknowledged.

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The reply additionally mentioned: “If there’s occasional anticipated scarcity situation, then proactive steps are taken to make sure uninterrupted provide of ARV medication to all PLHIV by instant relocation from close by ART centres or different states. Additional, State/District AIDS Management Societies are authorised to do emergency native procurement of ARV medication (as per requirement, & as an interim measure) from their budgeted Grant-in-aid. Adequate funds is allotted below the pinnacle “ARV for distinctive circumstances” for all 36 SACS below Annual Motion Plan by NACO for emergency native procurement of ARV medicines.”

The protesters mentioned among the “proactive” states have certainly made native purchases of the medicines, however others proceed to face scarcity due to the nationwide provide being interrupted after tender failure.

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