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Home General Director of Health Services confirms shortage of anti-retroviral drugs

Director of Health Services confirms shortage of anti-retroviral drugs

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Oct. 24, 2019– There is a shortage of anti-retroviral drugs in Belize, and this shortage will continue for at least another three to four weeks, according to the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero. Dr. Manzanero made the remarks yesterday during an interview with 7News.

Anti-retroviral drugs are the medication that persons living with HIV need to prolong their lives.

Dr. Manzanero said that he is only aware of one particular anti-retroviral that is currently unavailable in Belize.

Dr. Manzanero went on to explain that government spends a quarter of a million dollars to purchase anti-retroviral drugs, but the supplier in India from which the drugs are purchased was having difficulties getting the necessary raw materials to produce the drug.

According to Dr. Manzanero, when it comes to the anti-retroviral medication, it’s a matter of economies of scale. Other countries order millions of units of these drugs, but Belize is only able to order a few hundred thousand units. The drug has been ordered since April, but Belize is still on the waiting list that seems to be getting longer, said Dr. Manzanero.

We are finally getting assurance that the medication will be in the country in the next three to four weeks, said Dr. Manzanero.

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