Council supports ruling for pharmacists to prescribe medication to HIV, TB patients

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President of the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC), Mogologolo Phasha, says giving a go ahead for pharmacists to prescribe medication to patients with HIV and tuberculosis will assist government achieve its goal set out at the 11th AIDS Conference in June.

A new set of ambitious targets calls for 95% of all people living with HIV to know their status, 95% of all people diagnosed HIV infection to receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 95% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy to have viral suppression by 2025.

Phasha says those who are challenging this ruling by the Pretoria High Court that enables pharmacists to prescribe and dispense antiretroviral medicines without a doctor’s prescription are misunderstanding the country’s HIV goals.

“This ruling basically allows pharmacists who are trained in PMAT to be able to prescribe and dispatch ARVs. This opposition we are facing from the doctor’s grouping, we think it’s just not understanding that what we are responding to as a regulator is a public health response to help government achieve 95/95/95 (goal) and government has been struggling to achieve that.”

Close to eight million South African’s living with HIV 
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and published estimates of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, close to eight million South Africans are living with HIV.

KwaZulu-Natal carries the bulk of these infections.

With the rise in new infections post the COVID-19 pandemic and the burden on young women in sub-Saharan Africa; scientists, NGOs and policymakers gathered at the AIDS Conference in Durban in hopes to reignite a multi-pronged approach to fighting the virus.

Professor Kogie Naidoo is Deputy Director & Head of the TB HIV Treatment Research Program Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa.

In the video below, Professor Naidoo elaborates on access to TB and HIV treatment: