ARV supply for patients to improve

PEOPLE who are on antiretroviral treatment and have not defaulted since joining the programme will soon receive a three-month supply of ARV drugs at a single exit.

PEOPLE who are on antiretroviral treatment and have not defaulted since joining the programme will soon receive a three-month supply of ARV drugs at a single exit.

According to a memorandum sent by the national Department of Health to the Treatment Action Campaign and other stakeholders, there is no law prohibiting healthcare workers from giving patients a three-month supply of ARVs at a time, if they had proved to be stable on the regimen.

But the memo cautions against implications relating to drug supply management, including availability of sufficient quantities and storage area.

It also says that pharmaceutical depots would have to increase their storage space to meet the demand.

The memorandum is signed by Comprehensive HIV-Aids, Care, Management and Treatment Plan director, Nonhlanhla Dlamini.

Department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe said he was not aware of such a memo and would have to speak to the relevant people before commenting.

The TAC said it welcomed government's decision to allow patients to be given a three-month supply of medicine instead of one month.

"It will be more convenient for patients because they will have to make fewer trips to their health facilities.

"It will also reduce patient-load on the health system," it said - Zinhle Mapumulo

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