Zimbabwe assures HIV patients of adequate medication supply


Zimbabwe’s national drug procurer NatPharm has assured Zimbabweans on second-line regimen antiretroviral (ARV) treatment that the currently low stocks of medication will soon be replenished.

The assurance came amid concerns among those who take second-line ARVs over the supply of drugs after the National AIDS Council last week said that stocks for the second-line regimen needed urgent replenishment, the Herald newspaper reported Monday.

NatPharm board chairperson Billy Rigava said work is in progress to avert a crisis.

“What we can tell the country is there is enough medication for those who are already on treatment and they should not panic as the medication will continue to be sourced,” he said. “The people who manufacture the drugs are known and there is a relationship that just has to be improved to make sure the medication is there.”

“Measures have been put in place to ensure we have the required medicines,” Rigava said.

About 1.4 million Zimbabweans are living with HIV and 88 percent are on treatment.

An HIV drug regimen has three lines: the first is taken by most patients, especially those who seek treatment early after infection; the second is more expensive and is given to people who are resistant to the first; and the third is the most expensive and has harsh side effects.

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