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Protest by HIV patients alleging drug shortage continues, officials assure fresh ARV supply
8/19/2022 10:20:25 PM
AGENCIES
NEW DELHI, Aug 19: As protest by a group of HIV-positive people alleging shortage of certain antiretroviral (ARV) drugs reached 29th day on Thursday, officials from the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) held a meeting with them and assured fresh supply of medicines. While the officials claimed that fresh supplies were being expedited and airlifted to priority locations, the protestors said they will continue the dharna until "all HIV patients in India start receiving one month of medicines".
They have been alleging complete unavailability of certain drugs, including those for children living with HIV, and random shifting to another class of drugs for most of the patients. They say non-availability of drugs for the next few weeks could will lead to serious complications.
Official sources said the officers have been in constant touch with the protestors from the day they launched the dharna at NACO's Chanderlok office premises. In the beginning, discussions were held with division heads of NACO and subsequently escalated to the next level-the director of NACO.
Particular efforts have been made to ensure safety of the protestors in terms of making available drinking water, electricity and basic amenities at the NACO office premises, a source said. "In today's meeting, the NACO director assured two representatives of significant improvements in the ARV fresh supplies that are being expedited and airlifted to priority locations.
"While the representatives acknowledged these improvements in stock availability and dispensation for one month, especially in Delhi and many other states, they continued to raise anecdotal issues of 'stock-out' of ARVs in few states as well as lay instances of patients not receiving drugs," an official source said. A protestor told.
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