Home » Appeal to the Federal Minister of Health: Ensure the supply of HIV medication

Appeal to the Federal Minister of Health: Ensure the supply of HIV medication

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Appeal to the Federal Minister of Health: Ensure the supply of HIV medication

Friday, March 1, 2024, 12:20 p.m

In view of a supply bottleneck lasting several months, specialist organizations are calling for changes to production and monitoring.

Open letter with specific demands

In the letter, the specialist organizations put forward concrete demands to make the supply of medication in Germany less susceptible to disruption:

The production of essential medicines must increasingly take place in Europe in the future. Politics must create appropriate opportunities and incentives. It is important to counteract the concentration on a few manufacturers. The role that pricing and discounting mechanisms play in the German healthcare system must be examined in order to be able to counteract harmful effects if necessary. Delivery bottlenecks must be identified earlier using appropriate reporting procedures and warning systems and must be publicly traceable so that the responsible authorities can react quickly. Financial risks and disadvantages that doctors and pharmacies may have incurred due to delivery bottlenecks must be prevented or reliably compensated for.

Failure for several months

The reason for this open letter: The drug with the active ingredients emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil was not available in Germany for months. It is the only HIV preparation that is approved as a drug prophylactic, meaning thousands of people temporarily lost their protection against HIV. The drug also plays an important role in HIV therapy.

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There have now been some deliveries of the drug, but there is still a long way to go about reliable availability.

Politics must regain trust

“The reliable supply of antiretroviral drugs for people with HIV infection must be ensured by our health system, as well as drug pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV infections,” says Prof. Dr. Stefan Esser, President of the German AIDS Society.

“The fact that a vital HIV drug is no longer available for a long period of time must not happen again. Prevention has been damaged, many people have been unsettled and exposed to risks. Now politicians have to secure long-term supply and regain trust,” explains Sylvia Urban from the board of German Aids Aid.

“It is incomprehensible that politicians initially did not respond despite our request, even though we explicitly pointed out the danger of increasing new HIV infections,” says Dr. Heiko Karcher, board member of dagnä, with a view to the warnings in November. “A much faster and more solution-oriented approach would have been necessary here.”

Erik Tenberken, DAHKA board member, emphasizes: “Pharmaceutical companies must not give the impression that they are able to deliver when in reality they are not. Clear definitions of delivery capability and controls are needed. The safe care of patients must come first, not the economic interests of the manufacturers.”

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