Zimbabwe dismisses concerns about ‘expired’ anti-retrovirals

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Zimbabwean authorities have tried to allay fears that anti-retroviral drugs being dispensed by public health facilities six months after their expiry were harmful to users, state-linked newspaper The Herald has reported.

This is after people living with HIV/Aids came forward to say that a consignment of the drugs, which initially expired in June 2018 and whose shelf life was extended by six months, was having negative effects on them, says the paper.

The daily reports that the Ministry of Health’s director of Aids, Dr Owen Mugurungi, said the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe gave them the green light to distribute the anti-retrovirals for another six months following safety tests.

Dr Mugurungi said it was normal around the world for most medicines to be used beyond their expiry dates and that other countries repackage their drugs to indicate the new expiry date, The Herald reports.

He said pharmacists are supposed to explain to patients that the medicine is still safe for use for six more months.

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