The continuous and uninterrupted supply of antiretrovirals (ARVs) is essential to the treatment of patients living with HIV/AIDS. For that reason, UNICEF established an emergency stock of ARVs at the UNICEF Supply Division warehouse facility in Copenhagen, Denmark, that continues to be available for partners and country programmes. This buffer stock can be used to avoid interruptions in supply if a country faces the threat of ARV shortage, and can also help in providing very small volumes of ARVs to local NGOs. Please note that this ARV emergency stock serves mainly as a fall-back service in emergency situations - until the regular supply pipeline (with larger quantities) is restored.
UNICEF aims to provide access to a minimum quantity of key ARV formulations in the warehouse at all times. However availability at any given point in time will depend on the demand and turnover of the actual stock at hand. An overview of the standard levels of stock for the different ARV stock items can be requested with UNICEF Supply Division under firstname.lastname@example.org. The safety, efficacy and quality of ARVs purchased by UNICEF, including those in the emergency stock, are assessed via the WHO Pre-qualification Programme. Where no WHO-prequalified ARV products exist, UNICEF has a policy of supplying either the United States Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) certified ARVs or performing independent quality evaluations.
There are five key operational steps related to purchasing supplies, including ARVs from the emergency stock, through UNICEF Procurement Services. More information on these steps can be found via the UNICEF Procurement Services information pages.