2/25/09

Affordable, flavored malaria drug launched for kids

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis is launching a new cherry-flavored malaria drug that it says children will be less likely to spit out. The child-friendly version of its Coartem malaria pill dissolves in water, as well as breast milk, and tastes like fruit juice.

Though preventable and treatable, malaria remains one of the world's biggest killers, claiming 1 million lives each year. Nine out of 10 of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa — and the majority are children.

Hans Rietveld, director of marketing for Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis' malaria initiative, said that until now, mothers were forced to crush the anti-malarial pill and mix it with sugar in order to trick children into swallowing it. Even under a cloak of sugar, the pill still tastes bitter, causing many children, especially infants, to spit it out.

Partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the children's version of Coartem is being launched in several African countries. It is being provided to participating governments for a subsidized price of 30 cents per treatment course per child — a cost that is more affordable for a majority of Africans.

[AP]

3 comments:

Gary Baumgarten said...

Richard Tren, director of Africa Fighting Malaria will be my guest on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com at 5 PM New York time Tuesday March 3.

Please go to http//www.garybaumgaten.com to talk to him.

Thanks,

Gary

babatunde said...

Sanofi aventis came first came up with the disposable fixed dose tablets for children- as Coarsucam dispersible. We have been using this Sanofi Coarsucam ACT in Nigeria for about 2 years now...so I wonder why Novartis is presenting its product as the first of its kind to treat malaria in Africa. Is this a case of mis-information or a deliberate ploy draw African malaria patients to their product?
I wonder how low Novartis will go....
Anyway the Sanofi product has been efficacious and affordable for treating malaria in Nigeria....thats our brand of choice!

Grant Montgomery said...

I would be interested to know more about your organization's experience with Sanofi Coarsucam ACT, and your organization and mission for that matter. Especially since I am presently in Nigeria. Tx!