SC for meeting of stakeholders to discuss quality, shortage of antiretroviral drugs for HIV patients

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New Delhi, Jul 10 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Wednesday suggested a meeting between the Centre, National AIDS Control Organisation, and an organisation working for AIDS patients to discuss issues of quality and shortage of antiretroviral drugs for treating HIV patients.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra was hearing a PIL, filed in 2022 by NGO ‘Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS’, alleging shortage of antiretroviral drugs for treating HIV patients.

Referring to the shortage of antiretroviral drugs in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, the bench noted the submissions of Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, and senior advocate Anand Grover, representing the petitioner NGO, and said “dust has now settled” and there were enough medicines available.

"Quality of drugs is a major issue. We would like to discuss the issue with them (Centre and NACO)," Grover said and acknowledged that there was no shortage of medicines.

“We suggest that the meeting be held at senior level within two weeks. Thereafter, we will permit suggestions to be placed on record to ensure all concerns are taken care of,” the CJI said.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) involves treatment of people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) using anti-HIV drugs.

The plea has contended that non-availability of drugs at the AntiRetroViral Therapy Centres of the National AIDS Control Organisation hampers treatment of those living with HIV/AIDS. PTI SJK SJK SK SK