'Anti-retrovirals still safe'

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The KwaZulu-Natal department of health has urged patients receiving anti-retroviral treatment from its institutions not to panic about the recall of two batches of drugs.

Parmaceutical firm Adcock Ingram's had earlier urgently recalled batches of Adco-Nevirapine and Adco-Zidovudine.

This follows the withdrawal of two widely dispensed TB drug combination batches by the national Department of Health after its preliminary probe showed that the drugs became unstable under long-term storage, ultimately placing patients at risk of not receiving their optimal dosage.

KwaZulu-Natal department spokesman Leon Mbangwa said patients should not panic because they will not be affected by this.

"The recall will only affect private institutions that source these drugs from Adcock Ingram and all those receiving their ARVs from public hospitals and community health centres.

He pointed out that clinics would not be affected as "we source our drugs from Aspen Pharmaceuticals".

"No problems have been reported with drugs from this company," Mbangwa said.

He urged patients to continue with medication as prescribed.