According to the Ministry of Health, the majority of patients (more than 90%) taking antiretroviral therapy received a first-line choice which is a single-dose, fixed-dose combination of Tenofovir / Emtricitabine / Efavirenz tablets.
"This first-line treatment is widely available and there is no shortage of this product. "Some patients (6%) were resistant / unable to tolerate first-line regimens and then used a second-line Abacavir / Lamivudine or Zidovudine / Lamivudine regimen," department spokesman Popo Maja said on Tuesday.
According to Maja, most patients were transferred to second-line regimens mostly due to resistance and were not tolerable.
"Lamivudine deficiency globally has affected the availability of Abacavir / Lamivudine and Zidovudine / Lamivudine."
Maja stated that the pharmaceutical company Mylan was contracted to supply Abacavir / Lamivudine and Zidovudine / Lamivudine. "However, they are affected by global shortages and cannot supply all ordered quantities."
Mylan supplies stock every week because it is being produced.
"Due to current supply constraints, we have advised provincial departments to closely monitor the distribution and use of these drugs rationally until supplies fully recover.
"These steps include the first, redistribution of stock between facilities so that no stock accumulates in certain facilities so that all patients receive treatment," Maja added.
Second, the department has notified health workers that patients should be given a lower-than-usual amount of stock that might include issuing a month's inventory rather than a standard inventory of two or three months.
"Our doctors have been told that if the implementation of the above two actions is unsuccessful and there is no treatment at the facility, the recommended alternative therapy is Tenofovir (TDF) 300mg / Emtricitabane (FTC) 200mg double formulation tablets, with dose adjustments for the kidneys. a decline in value, "Maja added.
The department said it would continue to closely monitor the situation in consultation with the province, and would continue to provide the latest communication on this issue.
The Northern Cape Health Department did not respond to previous media questions about the extent of deficiencies in the province.