Image credit: Jeffrey Beall
It was only several days ago when the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) expressed concern that the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic might cause an HIV medication shortage. It now looks like that shortage is beginning.
CNBC reports that a survey conducted by the World Health Organization has revealed that there are now 24 countries around the world that have reported that their stock of antiretroviral medication is at a “critically low” level, while more than 70 countries run the risk of running out of antiretroviral medication because of the disruption brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic.
The survey results come a couple of weeks after UNAIDS announced that antiretroviral drug shortages are likely to happen because of the lockdowns brought about by the coronavirus. The shortages could, in turn, drive up the prices of antiretroviral drugs available on the market.
Back then, UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima called on countries to have mitigation plans in place to deal with the impact this will have, and World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus echoed Byanyima’s call to action in the statement released by the World Health Organization.
“Countries and their development partners must do all they can to ensure that people who need HIV treatment continue to access it. We cannot let the COVID-19 pandemic undo the hard-won gains in the global response to this disease,” he said.
Preparing for this shortage and minimizing its effects are crucial, as the shortage is likely to affect millions. According to the World Health Organization, more than 25 million people underwent treatment using antiretroviral medication in 2019. The organization does not expect to meet that target this year.
Failing to act now will also make things even more difficult down the line as it does not look like the global coronavirus pandemic is stopping anytime soon. According to the July 19 situation report from the World Health Organization, there are now 22.7M confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world. The number of people that have died from the disease is now at almost 800,000 people.
Why give a pill to some one that doesn’t have it that’s the dumb this I ever herd when there are people that need it.
Break them in HALF. I have done this for almost a year now and zero changes in my overall health and viral load. Only suggesting/sharing this if one is concerned about possible shortage …
Halving medication is a rational option.
Some medications can be halved and most doctors will agree to it…if it is logical and the half-life is sufficient to maintain the necessary degree of concentration, over a designated time-frame. particularly, if it is a pill but neither a capsule nor a liquid.
Most physicians over-medicate and the excessive amount of drug/drugs is/are what cause the side effects.
You offered a sage option. Glad you brought it to our intention.
Is this shortage just for HIV medications? What about heart, cancer, and GI medications? Do I detect some possible disparity and discrimination in this situation?
Did anyone think that the Panicdemic would not have consequences? Just like suicides, heart attacks, strokes and domestic violence increasing death rates exponentially, the medical shut downs have and continue to negatively affect those with chronic diseases and syndromes. And we haven’t even got to the eventual loss of funding, which will result in further closures of trauma units, etc. The supply chain for medications are screwed up just like everything else. When revenues go down, high priced chronic care will be cut back. And just like cancer patients, HIV sufferers will have their lives shortened. Also, don’t expect any… Read more »
What you raised is the reality…that what happens does not happen in a vacuum.
Remember “Pandora’s Box? Once you open it up, its lid continues to rise…until it is fully open. Most who are in charge always to seem not to grasp this…everything causes a “Reaction & an Effect.”
One must understand the Cause and then try to understand the effect; everything needs a balance and it is the imbalance that wrecks havoc on the immediate receiptents…then, eventually…on all others.
“Let no crisis go untaken advantage of.” Yep, just like HIV-Aids, let it just do (man-made or not) what it was designed to do. It’s not the “elites” suffering, it’s classism and racism, they’re just cleaning house and profiting while they’re at it. Just hit ’em with these very subtle (for those too blind to see) genocides.
This Pres., Admin., has proved to be just the most evil; creating situations with the most abhorrent outcomes.
The drug companies will manage to produce just enough to meet demand, but at a much higher price. Insurance and non-profits will pay whatever the new higher prices are. Nothing new.