The Bahamas Weekly Facebook The Bahamas Weekly Twitter
News : International : Caribbean News Last Updated: May 7, 2015 - 7:57:38 AM


Countries in the Americas improve management of HIV/AIDS drugs to prevent shortages
By (PAHO/WHO)
Apr 2, 2013 - 2:38:12 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

PAHO-WHO.jpg
A pilot project supported by PAHO/WHO and the Global Fund may expand to other countries

Washington, D.C. - Three Latin American countries are working to strengthen their management of drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, as part of a pilot project supported by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The project aims, among other things, to prevent shortages of antiretroviral drugs, a problem that has affected a number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic are participating in the pilot project, which seeks to improve supply systems for HIV/AIDS medications as well as transparency in drug management information. Other Latin American countries have asked to join the project in the coming months.

“The purchase and efficient management of antiretroviral drugs in the region is indispensable to guaranteeing sustainable access to these drugs,” said James Fitzgerald, PAHO/WHO senior advisor on essential medicines and biologicals. “However, some countries in the Americas have experienced episodes of shortages of antiretrovirals, which has led to interruption of treatment for HIV/AIDS. Strengthening antiretroviral drug management systems is a public health priority.” 

Antiretroviral drug shortages—known as “stock-outs”—can result in dangerous interruptions in treatment for people with HIV/AIDS, in some cases leading to drug resistance, requiring review and changes in their treatment.

Latin America and the Caribbean have higher levels of antiretroviral coverage than any other developing region, however, countries face challenges in maintaining and increasing coverage.

Nearly 68% of people in Latin America who need antiretroviral therapy are receiving it, as are 67% in the Caribbean. However, in 2011 more than half of Latin American and Caribbean countries (14 of 26 countries, or 54%) reported at least one stock-out of antiretrovirals. These episodes were largely the result of problems with bidding, purchasing, and distribution processes or complications with antiretroviral production.

At the start of the pilot project, PAHO/WHO, in cooperation with the Global Fund, sponsored an exchange of information among national health authorities, strategic partners, and civil society representatives in each country, to analyze problems that could affect the effective supply of HIV/AIDS drugs. Several strategies have been identified to reduce the risk of shortages and ensure continuity of treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.

To implement antiretroviral drug monitoring systems, the three countries are using the PAHO/WHO Regional Platform on Access and Innovation for Health Technologies (PRAIS in Spanish), which provides online tools to systematize and share information.

Through PRAIS, countries can create and exchange lists of antiretroviral drugs, monitor their stocks and consumption, and collect data on drug availability. They can also use an early warning system that provides at least six months advance notice of a potential problem in the antiretroviral drug supply.

The platform also makes it possible for countries to handle information transparently, forecast antiretroviral drug needs, reschedule procurement, and search for efficient purchasing mechanisms and affordable prices, which helps prevent the need for emergency purchases. The platform also allows countries to share this information and exchange drugs among themselves, if needed.

Antiretroviral therapy consists of the combination of at least three antiretroviral drugs to suppress the HIV virus and halt progression of the disease. Currently, patients must take these drugs every day for the rest of their lives.

PAHO, founded in 1902, is the oldest international public health organization in the world. It works with its member countries to improve the health and the quality of life of the people of the Americas. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO.


Bookmark and Share


© Copyright 2013 by thebahamasweekly.com

Top of Page

Receive our Top Stories



Preview | Powered by CommandBlast

Caribbean News
Latest Headlines
Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue Co-Chairs Announced
Kareem Mortimer and CARGO included at first Caribbean Film Mart
COB Students Celebrate 3rd Place Finish in Caribbean Students Colloquium
PAHO/WHO Director Encourages Strong Action To Advance Health For All
Joint Communiqué - 3rd Meeting of the Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council
Quotable Caribbean: Perry Christie, Paul Pennicook, Moses Kirkconnell and more...
CARICOM Leaders Served Cassava-Based Dishes at CARICOM Heads of Government Summit
Miya signs water efficiency project estimated at $42.5M in Jamaica
Quotable Caribbean: Karen Whitt, Frank Comito, Bonita Morgan, and more...
Changing the International Perception of the Caribbean from Tourism
Fisher lady of Punta Gorda, recognized as CRFM Fisher of the Year
WHO validates Cuba’s elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis
Diverse language skills needed for Caribbean tourism growth
Caribbean anti-corruption commissions gather at Commonwealth conference
CARICOM appeals to Dominican Republic to halt expulsions
CARICOM leaders' Commonwealth divide
Solidifying the Caribbean as a serious trade contender
Melanius Alphonse: Cuba on the cusp of hope and fear
47th Association of Caribbean Historians Conference Explores Reparations, Race, Health
New ILO Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
Caribbean Employers’ Confederation and Caribbean Congress of Labour sign MOU in Brussels‏
Quotable Caribbean: Dr. Devi Shetty, Usain Bolt, Freundel Stuart, and more...
One Caribbean Television celebrates Caribbean-American Heritage Month
Caribbean Fisheries Ministers Ink Regional Spiny Lobster Declaration
First journal of Human Communication Studies in the English-speaking Caribbean launched
Michael Misick and defendants on the Privy Council Appeal dismissal
High-level meeting of Caribbean Fisheries Ministers to be held in Grenada
Talking about a revolution, UWI sees change in the future of the Caribbean
Health City Performs Caribbean’s First Ever LVAD Heart Surgery
Haiti to welcome Carifesta in August 2015
Caribbean Needs ‘New Development Vision’, Mia Mottley Tells EU-CARIFORUM
The Caribbean needs radical thinking and bold actions
Trinidad and Tobago’s Sacha Cosmetics is Caribbean Exporter of the Year
Speakers announced for 1st Caribbean Safe and Secure Conference
Support pledged for young Caribbean entrepreneurs at Commonwealth meeting
First Caribbean fashion show to be held during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam
CWC Obtains Audio Rights for Barclays Premier league football in the Caribbean
Caribbean youth priorities take centre stage at Ministerial meeting in Antigua and Barbuda
Quotable Caribbean: P.J. Patterson, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, Warren Solomon, and more...
1st Caribbean Safe and Secure Conference and Exhibition - June 18 – 20, 2015