700 patients suffer in the city due to shortage of HIV drugs

This year, supply of second line of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) treatment drugs has been low

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In a series of events reported this year, hospitals in Mumbai have been facing shortage of the second line of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment drugs for the third time in a row. This has caused inconvenience to more than 700 patients across various treatment centres in the city. 

Usually, as per guidelines, patients are initially offered first-line drugs and are then treated with second-line drugs, if the initial medication does not show improvement. However, due to the shortage, hospitals have only got supply for a few days.

The Maharashtra District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) has blamed it on the delay of the shipment of medicines from manufacturers. Commenting on the same, Dr Srikala Acharya, Head, MDACS, said the issue will be resolved by the end of 2018. 

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She further added that the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) based out of New Delhi procures HIV drugs and then supplies it to the states. However, keeping the current scenario in mind, MDACS will try to purchase the drugs locally, said Acharya. 

Clarifying about the above-mentioned statement, Manish Bamrotiya from NACO said that the shortage is reported due to issues related to the logistics of supplying the medicines.

Meanwhile, doctors believe that if patients don’t get the drugs on a regular basis, there are chances that virus could multiply deteriorating their health.

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