Continual medicine shortages are causing ‘dire siuation’
ANTIRETROVIRAL ( ARV) and tuberculosis drug shortages are set to continue, with the potential for associated loss of life and implications for treatment defaulting and consequent drug resistance.
Mark Heywood, executive director of public interest law centre Section27, said the situation was dire.
“It’s very serious. For a clinic to run out of ARVs or TB meds for two weeks is a crisis,” he said, adding that stockouts were an injustice to those who relied on the medicine for survival.
“There are costs to a person travelling to a clinic and when they arrive there they are told there are no medicines. This can have dire consequences, such as people may stop taking their meds.”
Better warning systems were needed, Heywood said, to identify drug shortages so that clinics weren’t caught off guard.
Heywood also bemoaned the lack of political will, which he said was causing people to lose faith in the health system.
With World Aids Day on Tuesday, he said the challenge was to focus on what still needed to be done to support people living with HIV, and to reduce infection numbers.
The day should not be