Kase: Patients must take treatment regularly

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 16th November 2011

Acting Health secretary Pascoe Kase says it is not proper or acceptable for patients taking HIV medication to be placed on a “drug holiday” for any reason.
“It is important for
patients on antiretroviral medication to take their drugs regularly and consistently, as
more than a couple of days break in treatment can make the drugs less effective,” he said.
“It is totally inconsistent with national guidelines for HIV care and treatment in Papua New Guinea for patients on ARV to miss their medication for several days or to be put on a drug holiday,” Kase said.
He confirmed there was a disruption to the supply of HIV drugs to several sites because of a breakdown in communication between the department, National AIDS Council secretariat and air cargo agent, TNT.
He said the matter was resolved and the backlog of orders had been processed to ensure health services received the required supplies as a matter of urgency.
“The department will ensure that every patient on HIV medication affected by this
situation is followed-up appropriately and in a timely manner.
“We will give urgent priority in the coming days and weeks to ensure these patients are provided with the most appropriate clinical care and follow-up,” he said.