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      Stock-outs of antiretroviral and tuberculosis medicines in South Africa: A national cross-sectional survey

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          Abstract

          Background

          HIV and TB programs have rapidly scaled-up over the past decade in Sub-Saharan Africa and uninterrupted supplies of those medicines are critical to their success. However, estimates of stock-outs are largely unknown. This survey aimed to estimate the extent of stock-outs of antiretroviral and TB medicines in public health facilities across South Africa, which has the world’s largest antiretroviral treatment (ART) program and a rising multidrug-resistant TB epidemic.

          Methods

          We conducted a cross-sectional telephonic survey (October—December 2015) of public health facilities. Facilities were asked about the prevalence of stock-outs on the day of the survey and in the preceding three months, their duration and impact.

          Results

          Nationwide, of 3547 eligible health facilities, 79% (2804) could be reached telephonically. 88% (2463) participated and 4% (93) were excluded as they did not provide ART or TB treatment. Of the 2370 included facilities, 20% (485) reported a stock-out of at least 1 ARV and/or TB-related medicine on the day of contact and 36% (864) during the three months prior to contact, ranging from 74% (163/220) of health facilities in Mpumalanga to 12% (32/261) in the Western Cape province. These 864 facilities reported 1475 individual stock-outs, with one to fourteen different medicines out of stock per facility. Information on impact was provided in 98% (1449/1475) of stock-outs: 25% (366) resulted in a high impact outcome, where patients left the facility without medicine or were provided with an incomplete regimen. Of the 757 stock-outs that were resolved 70% (527) lasted longer than one month.

          Interpretation

          There was a high prevalence of stock-outs nationwide. Large interprovincial differences in stock-out occurrence, duration, and impact suggest differences in provincial ability to prevent, mitigate and cope within the same framework. End-user monitoring of the supply chain by patients and civil society has the potential to increase transparency and complement public sector monitoring systems.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy assessed by pharmacy claims predicts survival in HIV-infected South African adults.

          It is unclear how adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may best be monitored in large HIV programs in sub-Saharan Africa where it is being scaled up. We aimed to evaluate the association between HAART adherence, as estimated by pharmacy claims, and survival in HIV-1-infected South African adults enrolled in a private-sector AIDS management program. Of the 6288 patients who began HAART between January 1999 and August 2004, 3805 (61%) were female and 6094 (97%) were black African. HAART adherence was >or=80% for 3298 patients (52%) and 100% for 1916 patients (30%). Women were significantly more likely to have adherence>or=80% than men (54% vs 49%, P 200 cells/microL). Pharmacy-based records may be a simple and effective population-level tool for monitoring adherence as HAART programs in Africa are scaled up.
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            Reframing HIV care: putting people at the centre of antiretroviral delivery

            The delivery of HIV care in the initial rapid scale-up of HIV care and treatment was based on existing clinic-based models, which are common in highly resourced settings and largely undifferentiated for individual needs. A new framework for treatment based on variable intensities of care tailored to the specific needs of different groups of individuals across the cascade of care is proposed here. Service intensity is characterised by four delivery components: (i) types of services delivered, (ii) location of service delivery, (iii) provider of health services and (iv) frequency of health services. How these components are developed into a service delivery framework will vary across countries and populations, with the intention being to improve acceptability and care outcomes. The goal of getting more people on treatment before they become ill will necessitate innovative models of delivering both testing and care. As HIV programmes expand treatment eligibility, many people entering care will not be ‘patients’ but healthy, active and productive members of society 1. To take the framework to scale, it will be important to: (i) define which individuals can be served by an alternative delivery framework; (ii) strengthen health systems that support decentralisation, integration and task shifting; (iii) make the supply chain more robust; and (iv) invest in data systems for patient tracking and for programme monitoring and evaluation. La délivrance des soins du VIH dans le déploiement initial rapide des soins et du traitement du VIH a été basée sur des modèles existants dans les cliniques, qui sont courants dans les régions bénéficiant d’importantes ressources et largement indifférenciées pour les besoins individuels. Un nouveau cadre est proposé ici pour le traitement basé selon les intensités variables de soins, adaptés aux besoins spécifiques des différents groupes de personnes à travers la cascade de soins. L’intensité des services est caractérisée par quatre éléments de délivrance: (1) les types de services délivrés, (2) l’emplacement de la délivrance des services, (3) Les prestataires des services de santé et (4) la fréquence des services de santé. La façon dont ces éléments sont développés dans un cadre de prestation de services peut varier selon les pays et les populations, l’intention étant d’améliorer les résultats d’acceptabilité et des soins. Le but d’obtenir plus de personnes sous traitement avant qu’ils ne tombent malades nécessitera des modèles innovateurs de prestation à la fois pour dépistage et pour les soins. Comme les programmes VIH étendent l’éligibilité au traitement, beaucoup de gens qui entrent dans les soins ne seront pas des “malades- mais des éléments sains de la société, actifs et productifs. Afin de tenir le cadre à l’échelle, il sera important de: (1) définir les individus qui peuvent être traités par un cadre alternatif de prestation, (2) renforcer les systèmes de santé qui soutiennent la décentralisation, l’intégration et le transfert des tâches; (3) rendre la chaîne d’approvisionnement plus robuste et (4) investir dans des systèmes de données pour le suivi des patients et pour le suivi et l’évaluation du programme. Los servicios de atención del VIH durante el inicio de la primera etapa de rápida expansión del tratamiento y cuidados del VIH estaban basados en modelos clínicos existentes, comunes en lugares con abundancia de recursos y poco diferenciados en cuanto a necesidades individuales. Aquí se propone un nuevo marco para el tratamiento basado en intensidades variables de cuidados, hecho a medida según las necesidades específicas de los diferentes grupos de individuos a lo largo del tratamiento. La intensidad del servicio se caracteriza por cuatro componentes de entrega: (1) tipología de los servicios ofrecidos, (2) lugar de entrega de los servicios, (3) proveedor de los servicios sanitarios, y (4) frecuencia de los servicios sanitarios. El cómo estos componentes conforman un marco de entrega de servicios variará según el país y la población, con la intención de mejorar la aceptabilidad y los resultados de los cuidados. El objetivo de conseguir que más personas reciban tratamiento antes de que enfermen requerirá de modelos innovadores en la oferta tanto de pruebas para detección como de los cuidados. A medida que los programas para el VIH expandan los criterios de elegibilidad para el tratamiento, muchas de las personas que comiencen a recibir cuidados no serán “pacientes- sino miembros sanos, activos y productivos de la sociedad. Con el fin de expandir la escala de esta estructura, sería importante: (1) definir cuales individuos pueden ser atendidos dentro de un marco de entrega de servicios alternativo; (2) fortalecer los sistemas sanitarios que apoyan la descentralización, integración y delegación de funciones; (3) robustecer la cadena de proveedores; e (4) invertir en sistemas de datos para el seguimiento de pacientes y para la monitorización y evaluación de programas.
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              Impact of Drug Stock-Outs on Death and Retention to Care among HIV-Infected Patients on Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

              Background To evaluate the type and frequency of antiretroviral drug stock-outs, and their impact on death and interruption in care among HIV-infected patients in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Methods and Findings We conducted a cohort study of patients who initiated combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in three adult HIV clinics between February 1, 2006 and June 1, 2007. Follow-up ended on February 1, 2008. The primary outcome was cART regimen modification, defined as at least one drug substitution, or discontinuation for at least one month due to drug stock-outs at the clinic pharmacy. The secondary outcome for patients who were on cART for at least six months was interruption in care, or death. A Cox regression model with time-dependent variables was used to assess the impact of antiretroviral drug stock-outs on interruption in care or death. Overall, 1,554 adults initiated cART and were followed for a mean of 13.2 months. During this time, 72 patients discontinued treatment and 98 modified their regimen because of drug stock-outs. Stock-outs involved nevirapine and fixed-dose combination zidovudine/lamivudine in 27% and 51% of cases. Of 1,554 patients, 839 (54%) initiated cART with fixed-dose stavudine/lamivudine/nevirapine and did not face stock-outs during the study period. Among the 975 patients who were on cART for at least six months, stock-out-related cART discontinuations increased the risk of interruption in care or death (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.83; 95%CI, 1.25–6.44) but cART modifications did not (adjusted HR, 1.21; 95%CI, 0.46–3.16). Conclusions cART stock-outs affected at least 11% of population on treatment. Treatment discontinuations due to stock-outs were frequent and doubled the risk of interruption in care or death. These stock-outs did not involve the most common first-line regimen. As access to cART continues to increase in sub-Saharan Africa, first-line regimens should be standardized to decrease the probability of drug stock-outs.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Project administrationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Project administrationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Formal analysisRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                12 March 2019
                2019
                : 14
                : 3
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Médecins Sans Frontières South Africa, Operational Control Centre Brussels, Cape Town, South Africa
                [2 ] International Aids Society, Geneva, Switzerland
                [3 ] Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
                [4 ] Treatment Action Campaign, Johannesburg, South Africa
                [5 ] SECTION27, Johannesburg, South Africa
                [6 ] Southern African Clinicians Society, Johannesburg, South Africa
                [7 ] Rural Health Advocacy Project, Johannesburg, South Africa
                [8 ] Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
                [9 ] Médecins Sans Frontières, Southern African Medical Unit, Cape Town, South Africa
                The Ohio State University, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-18-29907
                10.1371/journal.pone.0212405
                6413937
                30861000
                © 2019 Hwang et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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                Figures: 6, Tables: 5, Pages: 13
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                Funding
                The authors received no specific funding for this work.
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