Government has been urged to introduce an electronic registry system in the dispensation of anti retroviral drugs from local health institutions to curb double dipping and abuse.
Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+) intellectual property rights coordinator Tonderai Chiduku told a workshop recently rampant abuse of drugs was as a result of a manual system which is currently being used in the country by pharmacies and health centres.
Chiduku cited a case in Murehwa where ARVs were reported to be used for skin lightening and recreational drugs by youths.
"In order to avoid double dipping of medicines on two occasions there is need for electronic system in the dispensation of these drugs. Health institutions should digitalise the whole process so that if a client goes to another site the system can easy track and raise a red flag.
"This will stop and ensure that people will use drugs in the correct way. We heard certain places where ARV drugs are being used as recreational drugs by youths while some are using them for skin lightening," said Chiduku.
Chiduku added that reports indicate that contrimoxozile drug is reported to be mixed with lotions to make a skin lightening cream and expressed concern over overstocking of ARV drugs by health institutions, saying some drugs were expiring on the shelves.
"We have a difficult situation where drugs are overstocked by health institutions and they will end up expiring. The officials will end up being forced to extend drug shelf life.
"We don't know how effective that drug can be although the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe has indicated that shelf life has been extended some of us we are very suspicious when it comes to medicines have their shelf life extended by another six months. It is very complex and psychologically it won't be good," said Chiduku
"These are platforms where stakeholders come to address barriers affecting IPRs. We have done a bottom up approach from grassroots level as we aim to reach out at policymakers so that we all speak with one voice on IPR that seem to be too technical to address structural challenges on HIV and AIDS for a strong and vibrant and significant role on the way people access treatment."
He urged for funding to allow local companies to manufacture some of the drugs in order to reduce dependence on foreign suppliers.
Read the original article on New Zimbabwe.
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