The World Health Organization reports AIDS drug stock outs in two dozen countries, which threaten access to lifesaving medicines for some 8.3 million people; an additional 73 countries warn WHO they are at risk of their own stocks running out
AHF says global AIDS drug shortages blamed on COVID-19 confirm need for improved global public health planning, coordination and strategic stockpiling
WASHINGTON (July 6, 2020) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today called on governments, global health organizations and pharmaceutical companies the world over to work together to swiftly overcome barriers and eliminate stock outs of lifesaving AIDS medicines which the World Health Organization (WHO) has blamed on the global coronavirus pandemic. WHO reports AIDS drug stock outs in two dozen countries with an additional 73 countries warning they are or may be at risk of stocks running out.
According to POLITICO Pro (Carmen Paun, 7/6/20), the AIDS drug shortfall “…threatens the access to medicines for some 8.3 million people who were benefiting from the therapies in 2019, or about one third of all people taking HIV drugs globally, the WHO said.”
“Nearly 24-million people living with HIV or AIDS today are on treatment—a remarkable accomplishment. It is a bitter irony that one pandemic is now wreaking deadly havoc with the steady progress we have made on the other,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “First and foremost, the world must now work together to do everything we can to quickly eradicate these stock outs of lifesaving AIDS medicines and keep millions of people alive.”
In laying blame for the drug shortfall on the coronavirus pandemic, POLITICO Pro noted “A slowdown of freight transport and the shutting of international borders affected the sourcing of raw materials for medicines as well as the procurement and distribution of finished products, UNAIDS said in a separate report published Monday.”
AHF says the current global AIDS drug shortages blamed on COVID-19 also confirm the need for vastly improved global public health planning, coordination and strategic stockpiling.
“Our response to global public health threats has repeatedly been tested and we continue to fail,” added Weinstein. “We saw this with Ebola in West Africa in 2014-2015, where we lacked even a supply of basic PPEs—masks, gowns, booties—stockpiled in an accessible continental site. We certainly see it with the free for all for PPEs, medicines and leadership on COVID-19 in the U.S. and abroad. For the good of our health, we need to really get on it and step up our game globally.”