Nigerian Deputy Health Minister Announces Generic AIDS Drug Trials; Many Selected Centers Still Lacking Drugs
Nigerian Deputy Health Minister Amina Ndalolo told reporters last week that the government intends to launch a nationwide trial of generic AIDS drugs on Dec. 10, but several of the 18 designated centers said that they have not yet received the drugs or any training on their administration, Agence France-Presse reports. The trial, which was scheduled to begin in September but was postponed, is set to begin Monday at 18 centers across the country with a "limited" number of patients. After three months, the trial, which is testing generic AIDS drugs supplied by two Indian pharmaceutical firms, will gradually be expanded to include 100 centers and 10,000 patients by the end of its first year. However, officials at two Lagos hospitals chosen to participate in the study said they had not yet received the drugs or any training in how to administer the treatments. "As I am talking to you, neither has my hospital received the drugs nor have I been told when and how to administer them," Dr. Charles Okany, head of the HIV/AIDS team at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, told Agence France-Presse. Officials at Lagos' military hospital reported similar circumstances. Mohammed Farouk, head of the Nigerian AIDS Alliance, said that people with HIV/AIDS were "fed up" with the delays and would initiate a street protest if the trial failed to start as scheduled. He said that he has seen the drugs, which are in the country, and "commended" the government for importing them (Obisesan, Agence France-Presse, 12/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.