|Type||Journal Article - Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice|
|Title||Stock-outs of antiretroviral drugs and coping strategies used to prevent changes in treatment regimens in Kinondoni District, Tanzania: a cross-sectional study|
Since 2004, the government of Tanzania has been rolling out antiretroviral treatment programs all over the country. However, the capacity of the health system to cope with the rapid scale-up of these programs is a major concern, and problems may result in drug stock-outs that force changes in treatment regimens. This study aims to explore stock-outs of antiretroviral drugs and further determine the coping strategies employed to prevent changes in treatment regimens in HIV/AIDS care and treatment clinics in Kinondoni District, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 20 HIV/AIDS care and treatment clinics. Interviews were conducted with the person in charge and a member of the pharmacy staff from each clinic using a pre-tested semi-structured interview guide. Verbal responses were transcribed, coded and analysed by thematic approach. Quantitative data were analysed using Excel spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel®, Microsoft Corporation).
The total number of clients enrolled in the visited clinics was 32,147, of whom 20,831 (64.8%) had already been initiated onto antiretroviral therapies (ART). Stock-out of antiretroviral drugs was reported in 16 out of the 20 clinics, causing 210 patients to change their ART regimens, during the 12 months preceding the survey. Inefficient supply systems, quantification problems and short expiry duration were cited as the main causes of stock-outs. The coping strategies utilised to prevent changes in ART regimens were: shortening of the refill period, borrowing and moving patients to other clinics.
Changes in ART regimens due to stock-outs of antiretroviral drugs occurred in a small but significant number of patients. This increases the risk of the emergence of drug-resistant HIV strains. Healthcare workers use various coping strategies to prevent changes in ART regimens but, unfortunately, some of these strategies are likely to increase patient-borne costs, which may discourage them from attending their routine clinics, hence leading to unplanned treatment interruptions.
|»||Tanzania - Population and Housing Census 2012|