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TAC: There's a shortage of ARVs across the country

The rights group says its reports show there is a shortage of a range of ARV drugs in districts across SA.

Treatment Action Campaign’s Anele Yolwa says the poor management of medicine on the ground is also a leading factor. Picture: Stock.XCHNG.

JOHANNESBURG - The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) says its latest reports show there is a shortage of a range of Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in districts across the country and the health department must recognize this.

Yesterday Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said while South Africa was running the biggest anti-retroviral drugs programme in the world, there was no deficit of fixed dose ARVs on home soil.

The minister was responding to reports of people being turned away from clinics because of a wide spread shortage of certain drugs particularly in KwaZulu-Natal.

However the rights group's Anele Yolwa says the poor management of medicine on the ground is also a leading factor.

"We aren't only referring to the fixed dose recommendation, but the whole range of ARVs."

Yolwa says the health department cannot hold pharmaceutical companies solely responsible for shortages.

"How does the leadership engage pharmaceutical companies to make sure that some ingredients which aren't available are made available so that they must manufacture all drugs in order for lives to be saved?"