Post-market assessment of the quality of first line regimen fixed-dose combination antiretrovirals in South Africa
Suleiman, Reem Abdallah S.
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The rapid increase in access to new antiretrovirals (ARVs) worldwide and, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, coupled with the well-documented problem of poor quality ARVs in developing countries has underscored the need for quality assessment of these medicines. South Africa has the worst human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic profile in the world; consequently, it has rolled out the world's largest antiretroviral ARV programme. With increasing market penetration of generic medicine in South Africa and especially ARVs, there is a call for stringent quality control mechanisms following the marketing approval (post-market quality control) of these medications. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for this aspect of quality assurance is not met by most Medicine Regulatory Authorities. In South Africa and many other countries this is attributed to a lack of physical and financial resources to enforce effective post-marketing surveillance (PMS) of all pharmaceuticals available in the country.