Question NW50 to the Minister of Health

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09 July 2019 - NW50

Chirwa, Ms NN to ask the Minister of Health

(a) What number of citizens have not received ARVs in the past three months as a result of the second-line ARV shortage and (b) are there any further expected shortages?

Reply:

(a) There is a shortage of the abacavir/lamivudine and zidovudine/lamivudine combination used in second line. The shortage meant that there was lesser stock than is ordinarily available but we do not have stock. There are 360 000 patients on both combinations that are in short supply. There is currently 558 382 (AL = 177 741 + ZL = 380 641) units of the second line regimen available as at 28 June 2019.

Additionally the contracted supplier is bringing 650 000 units in July 2019. The National Department of Health has implemented stock visibility system where we have sight of the medicine stock holding at facility level. We have managed this situation by asking facilities to reduce the quality dispensed. Some patients receive two/three months supply at a time and we have advice that patients are dispensed only 1 month treatment. Secondly, we have moved stock around between facilities with higher stock levels to facilities with less stock. Thirdly, we have proposed an alternative treatment regimen should the current second line regimen not be available;

(b) The global supply of lamivudine API remains erratic however, the new ARV tender commenced on the 1st July 2019 where we have contracted additional suppliers, which we anticipate will fill the gap.

END.

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