Argentina must stop bureaucracy in health system to avoid shortages in pharmacies

desabasteThe Argentine health system shows shortages of some antiretrovirals, according to anonymous sources. Therefore, if the authorities want the majority of people with HIV to continue within the system, achieve viral suppression, and a sustainable health in time, they should review the obtaining and authorization processes for medications, including situations of shortage.

Unfortunately, these processes are unreasonable bureaucratic. Furthermore, many officials in health centers and pharmacies are in need of training, which is needed to deal responsibly with these topics.

The Red Argentina de Jóvenes y Adolescentes Positivos (RAJAP), in a statement issued on April 30, reported shortage of antiretrovirals in the provinces of Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Misiones, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, San Juan, Buenos Aires and the city of Buenos Aires. In addition, systems of health, both public and private, randomly communicate being out of stock in their pharmacies.

Conclusion has been “to replace medication by the same scheme, but with more pills”. As denounced by RAJAP in their press release, who also demand to stop the change of schemes due to shortage, highlight that many adolescents in Argentina travel several kilometers to obtain their medication, and when they arrive at the pharmacy, they are told that their “medication is missing”.

What should you do if any medication is missing?

People affected by any shortages should address the Superintendence of health services to make a report of the missing medication, and then present it in the Ministry along with the current recipe (less than 30 days). Once it is done, you must get in touch with the Dirección de Sida e ITS (direction of AIDS and STIs) to coordinate the obtaining of your medication. By following this process, we all make visible the shortages, and the State is obligated to commit in the resolution of these cases.

Unfortunately, reality shows that every day many people give up on treatment, and if they wish to start the treatment again, they must do it under a new scheme, which probably will be more expensive. Only those with HIV can understand the fatigue caused by the treatment after several years, and what means having to deal with the existing bureaucracy to manage monthly treatment. A bureaucracy that becomes more complex in a situation of shortages.

What many fail to know are the restrictions, work, and new processes linked to exports, which complicates every day the entry of drugs into the country. It is the Government who must analyze and resolve this, otherwise the country will face more serious problems.