Russian Government urged to procure more HIV drugs
Patient Control asks the Russian Government to increase the procurement of drugs for HIV patients
The social activist group Patient Control has sent a letter to the State Duma and the Government requesting an increase in this year’s funding for the procurement of antiretroviral drugs for patients with HIV. It states that a further 18 billion roubles needs to be allocated in addition to the 30 billion already set aside in the State budget – otherwise, there may not be enough drugs for those who need them.
Patient Control says that funding for 2023 was partially spent last year. At that time, the Ministry of Health purchased 448,000 annual courses of treatment for 30 billion roubles and then made additional procurements earlier than planned by using borrowed funds of 8.6 billion roubles from this year’s budget.
This year, the Ministry has purchased 292,000 annual courses of treatment for 21.5 billion roubles. According to Patient Control figures, the rest of the budget has been exhausted at a time when the number of patients in need of treatment is continuing to grow.
The Federation’s Auditing Chamber was aware of the complex nature of Russia’s HIV infection rate as far back as 2021, writes Izvestia. At that time, the Auditing Chamber made recommendations to the Government on how the needs for test systems and drugs for people with HIV could be fully met.
The Ministry of Health reports that the number of patients undergoing antiretroviral treatment is increasing, comprising 86.9% of those listed on the federal register in 2022, with the Federal Centre for the Planning and Organisation of Drug Provision redistributing medication among the regions where necessary.
Alexei Kurinny, Deputy Chair of the State Duma Committee on Health Protection, is confident there will be enough drugs for those who need them. Duma deputies will be discussing this issue further and may well decide on a reallocation of funding.
In April this year, representatives from leading SONGOs that support people with chronic viral hepatitis sent a letter to the Ministry of Health claiming that HIV sufferers have been increasingly denied free hepatitis C treatment since the middle of last year due to a shortage of drugs.