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

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Sokha defence denies Tech’s claims

    ON DAY two of Kem Sokha’s treason trial, lawyers for the government said the defence had raised questions in an attempt to allow their client to make a public statement and a conclusion to the case, something his legal team denied. Ky Tech, a

  • Cambodian general visits Myanmar to enhance national defence cooperation

    Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief Vong Pisen is now in Myanmar leading a delegation that aims to improve ties, particularly in national defence, with the fellow Asean member. The timing of Pisen’s four-day visit to the Southeast Asian neighbour is highly symbolic, with

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to