Thankfully, in this case, says MSF head of mission in Kenya Richard Veerman, the falsified medicines did not seem to have significant negative outcomes for the HIV control of patients, neither did they result in treatment failure. "However, the events in this case were upsetting to patients and staff alike," he says.
"And a former advisor to the government on HIV and Aids treatment has warned that fake and falsified ARVs circulating in the country could be a costly affair for the government.
Dr Dundu Malaki Owili, a dermatologist at the Aga Khan University Hospital, says the infiltration of uncertified drugs into the system would lead to mass drugs resistances among patients making HIV and Aids too expensive to treat.
"Fake or expired drugs do not work, so the virus continues to multiply in the patients. Such drugs also lead to patients developing resistance to treatment meaning they would have to be put on second line treatment which are several hundred times more expensive," he says.
"The patients would also have to undergo numerous and expensive CD4 and viral load tests making the cost of their treatment quite high and almost untenable," he adds.
Veerman says after their nurses identified the problem with the medicines, MSF immediately informed the appropriate Kenyan authorities and the WHO, and then rapidly obtained sufficient quantities of replacement medicine and began to call back patients for exchange of their medicines.
In all, MSF followed up nearly 3,000 of the HIV patients who received ARVs from falsified batches and provided them with replacement drugs. These patients were also offered an evaluation to ensure their health wasnât affected.
The organisation will continue monitoring them closely and also offer both clinical and biological examinations, such as viral load tests.
Meanwhile, an official investigation is ongoing.