HIV/AIDS: Nigeria has no local ARV brand – Coalition

The Coalition of Civil Society Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (COCSHAN) says there is no
local Anti Retroviral (ARV) brand in the country at the moment.

Mr Ikenna Nwakamma, the first Co-chairman of the society, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday while reacting to speculations that Nigeria produces and exports ARV drugs to neighbouring countries.

ARV is a drug used to prevent retrovirus such as HIV from replicating. The term primarily refers to antiretroviral (ARV) HIV drugs.

Nwakamma, therefore, explained that some pharmaceutical companies in the country had received advanced level accreditation to produce the drug but lacked government support.

He added that “you know that donors are mainly funding our HIV programmes, but Nigerian government is funding HIV response in Abia and Taraba.

“The President promised to fund additional 50,000 people living with the virus every year. I think we should launch our local ARV drug using government fund in the two states.”

The cochairman said that the drugs could easily be manufactured if pharmaceutical companies in the country could be supported by government.

Nwakamma reiterated calls for local ARV brand.

According to him, the donors will gradually leave, so, it is important to build sustainable systems that will ensure that their exit will not throw us into bigger problem.

NAN reports that there have been speculations that Nigeria exports ARV drugs to other African countries.

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