Russian HIV Drug Supplies Are Running Out

In the regions of Russia, due to procurement problems, the most important drug for HIV-positive patients, lamivudine, is ending. It is reported by RIA Novato on Monday, September 16.

According to the agency, over the past six months, drug suppliers have not been able to bid at the Ministry of Health auctions for the purchase of medicine three times because of low prices. For the fourth time, the cost of the drug at auction has increased, but now suppliers of lamivudine may not have time to meet the deadline – in 11 regions, stocks of the drug will be running out by the end of September, and it is almost gone in Russian pharmacies. In 19 regions, lamivudine will be enough until mid-October, in some – until the end of the year.

It is specified that more than a million people need the drug. There is almost no getting it now. My husband went on a business trip to Perm and did not take any medicine with him – he forgot. The pills themselves are inexpensive, costing a little more than 300 rubles, but he went around all the pharmacies in the city, and could not even buy one pack. As a result, I had to urgently send the medicine by courier from Moscow, Svetlana Bortikova told the agency. She and her husband live with HIV. She clarified that if you do not take lamivudine, then over time the effectiveness of all other drugs will disappear – they will cease to contain the virus.

Lack of drug leads to the issuance of incomplete treatment regimens, and this has a very negative effect on the effectiveness of therapy. Subsequently, this can lead to the progression of the disease, which runs counter to the Strategy for counteracting the spread of HIV infection in Russia, the agency quotes the text of the appeal of the Patient Control public movement to the Russian government.

On August 1, it was reported that the procurement situation of an anti-HIV drug called lamivudine in Russia was close to critical.

Later it became known that the cause of the procurement disruption could be a new policy of the Ministry of Health, according to which the state customer should set the initial maximum price of the contract, which cannot be exceeded during the bidding. It is determined by a rather complex scheme, which includes several components. The customer should be guided by the average price for similar purchases over the past year, as well as a special reference price, which is calculated automatically by the formula and is reflected in a single information system (UIS).

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