Antiviral and antiretroviral drug shortages amidst COVID-19: How Africa is struggling

  • Sudhan Rackimuthu Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Zohra Kazmi Jinnah Medical and Dental College, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Osman Kamal Osman Elmahi Faculty of Medicine, Ibn Sina University, Khartoum, Sudan
  • Reem Hunain Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India
  • Behram Khan Ghazi Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Zain Ali Zaidi Jinnah Medical and Dental College, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Ana Carla dos Santos Costa Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
  • Shoaib Ahmad Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Mohammad Yasir Essar 7Medical Research Center, Kateb University, Kabul, Afghanistan


Antiviral drugs are of paramount importance in the accomplishment of the vision of zero new cases of COVID-19 globally, through sustainable retaliation against viral diseases. However, several challenges currently exist in Africa which include insufficient infrastructure, deteriorating health systems, and rising costs of healthcare delivery with concomitant rising inequity with regards to access to health services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic itself has stimulated an increased use of phytotherapy in Africa as a result of essential drug shortages that have been attributed to a plethora of contributing factors such as travel restrictions, reduced per capita income as well as increased expenditure on transport. As a result, the paucity of antiviral along with antiretroviral drugs used to combat COVID-19 as well as several other endemic viral diseases in Africa has created a worrisome state. This article therefore discusses and aims to underscore the causes, effects, and implications of antiviral and antiretroviral shortages amid COVID-19 in Africa.


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Received 2021-08-17
Published 2021-10-08
Pharmacy Practice & Practice-Based Research