In the report “Now multidrug-resistant TB stock crisis looms” (June 29), Mohuya Chaudhuri states: “Though the World Health Organisation (WHO) had maintained that there is no stock-out situation in India, in an internal briefing within the WHO on June 27 Dr. Nata Menabde, WHO representative, India, was appraised of the true status.”
The news item is inaccurate and creates a wrong impression. It is true that we did have several of our regular internal WHO meetings on June 27 but those were not on the issue of drug stock-out as stated. Based on information available to us today, including on the actions undertaken by the government to replenish the buffer stock, we stand by our position as shared in a statement on June 21, 2013 (that “there has never been any shortage of anti-TB drugs in the programme due to a robust drug forecasting, procurement and distribution system”).
Coordinator, Health Programmes,
Mohuya Chaudhuri responds: The information in the article is based on a WHO document, which is a briefing note meant for a meeting on the 27th of June with the WR, Dr. Nata Menabde. The note obtained by the writer through reliable sources confirms shortage of paediatric and second line drugs as well as delays in procurement for several reasons. This document is available with me.