Amid protests over alleged shortage of antiretroviral drugs, official sources have said there is adequate stock nationally for around 95 per cent of ‘People Living with HIV’ who are on first and second line ARV regimens in the country.
There is no reported stock out for any antiretroviral (ARV) drugs at the state level and fresh supply orders for procurement of the next lot of several drugs are already placed. Individual antiretroviral therapy (ART) centres may have this issue at times, but the medicines are immediately relocated from nearby centres, they said on Monday.
A group of HIV patients have been protesting against shortage of antiretroviral drugs outside the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) office in the national capital since the last few days. Meanwhile, four representatives of the protestors on Monday had a discussion with senior officers of NACO. The representatives were informed about the position regarding drugs availability and they were told to jointly work with state AIDS control societies and NACO for the availablity of drugs at those few ART centres running short on supplies temporarily. Asked about the matter, an official source said India is one of the very few countries that provides free antiretroviral medicines for lifelong treatment of more than 14.5 lakh PLHIV (People Living with HIV) through 680 ART centres under its National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), which is fully funded by the Government of India. The National AIDS Control Organisation centrally procures ARV medicines for PLHIV as per national guidelines.
”There is adequate stock nationally for around 95 per cent PLHIV in India who are on first and second line ARV regimens like tablet TLD (Tenofovir+ Lamivudine+ Dolutegravir) and other ARV regimens.
”The mainstay of treatment for more than 85 per vent PLHIV is Tablet TLD (a fixed-dose combination of three anti-retroviral drugs, namely, Tenofovir (300mg)+Lamivudine (300mg) plus Dolutegravir (50mg), for which there is sufficient stock nationally to last more than 3 months,” the source said. Tablet Dolutegravir (DTG)-50mg is required for around 50,000 PLHIV who are either on Alternate-1st/2nd or 3rd-line regimens or those with TB co-infection, it said.
”There is no reported stock out for any ARV drugs at the state level and the fresh supply orders for procurement of the next lot of several drugs are already placed. Individual ART centres may have this issue at times, but the medicines are immediately relocated from nearby centres,” it said. The Central Medical Services Society (CMSS) has been requested to supply the first lot of the drugs at the earliest so as to ensure that before the present stock runs out, the fresh lot of drugs would have been received, the official source added.