Russia's Roszdravnadzor healthcare watchdog has uncovered a shortage of critical HIV medications in 20 Russian regions, the state TASS news agency reported Wednesday.
Each of the regions in question lacks three to five different types of medication, Roszdravnadzor's spokesperson told TASS.
The shortages come after Russia altered state procedures for purchasing HIV medications in a bid to provide more patients with treatment.
In Nov. 2016, Russian authorities centralized procurement, empowering the Health Ministry — instead of regional government bodies — to carry out drug tenders. The Health Ministry is scheduled to make the first shipment of HIV drugs to the regions in April 2017.
Until then, regional authorities are charged with creating a sufficient supply of medications on their own. The Russian government allocated a total of 2.28 billion rubles ($40 million) on for this purpose, TASS reported.
Since 2013, regional authorities have been in charge of purchasing all necessary HIV drugs. However, procurement decentralization resulted in constant shortages of medications in many Russian regions.