NEW DELHI: Faced with the scarcity of critical medicine at ART Centres for free supply to HIV patients, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday assured that the stocks would be replenished soon. With tenders from previous years cancelled and as a result buffer stocks running low, ART centres are expected to soon run out of the tenofovir/lamivudine fixed dose combination in the case of adults and lopinavir/ritonavir syrup in the case of children, according to sources in the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
As India has over 2.1 million HIV infected patients, who are getting free supply of medicines at ART Centres, at a minimum, NACO urgently needs 60 lakh tablets of tenofovir 300mg + lamivudine 300mg (TL) to prevent a situation of out of stock in ART centres. These medicines are expensive in open market and majority of HIV patients depend on ART centres for free supply. However, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that there was no need to worry.