General News Mon, 30 Sep 2002

Local Production of HIV/AIDS Drugs In Ghana

Ghana is to start production of three off-patient antiretroviral drugs for the management of HIV/AIDS in March next year.

The drugs, which are not over-the-counter drugs, would be available at specific treatment centers such as the Korle-Bu and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals (KATH). Dr Kwaku Yeboah, Manager of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), disclosed this in Accra on Monday, said the drugs were not curative but would only manage symptoms and opportunistic diseases to prolong the patient?s life.

He said the government was also holding discussions on the procurement of antiretroviral drugs into the country and guidelines on importation involving quality, delivery and storage of these drugs were being finalized. According to the Program Manager, there were some AIDS drugs already on the market through the private sector, while some HIV patients who had relatives outside may also have access to some of these drugs.

He said guidelines to rationalize and regulate the production or procurement of AIDS drugs both in the private and public sector was being finalized to ensure order and safety.