Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Inquiry into sale of gov't ARVs could take ‘months’

Inquiry into sale of gov't ARVs could take ‘months’

A Cambodian doctor offers antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to a woman who is living with HIV at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital in Phnom Penh in 2012. AFP
A Cambodian doctor offers antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to a woman who is living with HIV at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital in Phnom Penh in 2012. AFP

Inquiry into sale of gov't ARVs could take ‘months’

A health official has said it will take months to verify where pharmacies and private clinics obtained antiretrovirals (ARVs) after it was discovered that the free government-distributed HIV medication was being sold, a response time that NGOs yesterday said was too slow.

Dr Ly Penh Sun, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STDs, said it will take “a couple of months” to complete the verification and inventory of the drugs at the Central Medical Stores (CMS), because of the amount of documentation involved.

Officials will review all invoices of medication delivered to the provinces from 2015 and this year in order “to make sure that all the drugs that were sent to the provinces actually went to the provinces”, he said.

The Ministry of Health, in a June 13 letter, banned the selling and buying of the medication. CMS imports the drugs, which are free for patients, then distributes to the provinces.

Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said government agencies could mobilise enough staff to conduct the investigation “within weeks rather than months”.

“I believe the issue needs to be addressed now and not be delayed too long, which could risk the problem becoming worse,” he said.

Choub Sok Chamreun, executive director for the HIV NGO KHANA, said quicker action would help understand the root cause of the problem.

“The revisit[ing] of record-keeping systems and or supplies and stock management will have to be scrutinized and verified,” he said in an email.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the