The Zimbabwe government on Thursday assured the nation that there are adequate supplies of anti-retroviral drugs in the country after the delay in delivery of some drugs caused panic among patients.
“There have been recent media reports alluding to clients on anti-retroviral therapy being put at high risk arising from a situation ascribed to expiration and therefore shortage of medicines.
“At the outset, the Ministry of Health and Child Care would like to inform the members of the public particularly those on anti-retroviral treatment that there are sufficient supplies of anti-retrovirals in the country,” the Ministry of Health and Child Care said in a statement.
The ministry said slightly over 1 million people on antiretroviral medicines were on different drug regimens, the most common being the combination of Tenefovir/Lamivudine/Esfavirenzor (TZE).
Currently, there were 952,281 patients on one-tablet-a-day combination of TLE, the first line treatment option of choice while three percent of patients were on treatment regimen consisting of a combination of Tenofovir/Lamivudine plus a single tablet Nevirapine (TL+N), the ministry said.
“The quantities of TLE currently in the country are sufficient to last for 7.4 months and shipments will be received soon to keep the desired minimum stock levels,” said the ministry.
However, the ministry clarified that the late delivery of some drugs that expired on April 30 caused panic among clients with regards to continued availability of the drugs.
The ministry said these drugs had since been delivered on April 27.
“With this 27 April 2018 delivery and subsequent distribution the problem has since been rectified with the affected provinces receiving commodities with a shelf life beyond April 30,” it said.
The ministry said it had made progress in switching clients from the Nevirapine based regimens to Efavirenz 400 based regimens although a small proportion still require the TL+N combination.
It said it had made contingency plans to have adequate supplies for this group, with the next consignment to last for five months expected in the country this month. Enditem