New combined pill to treat malaria is launched

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 17 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:854
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    A new low cost, first line, fixed dose combination drug to treat uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Latin America and South East Asia is expected to lower the number of cases of the disease and reduce the number of hospitalisations.

    The combination of artesunate and mefloquine in a single tablet has been produced as a “non-exclusive, not for profit public good,” said the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, which coordinated the project.

    “The drug combination in the same tablet will improve the management of cases,” said Bernard Pecoul, executive director of the initiative, which is the joint project of seven organisations, including the charity Médecins Sans Frontières and France’s Pasteur Institute.

    The new product, which avoids the need for a two tablet regimen, “will make it more possible to use [treatment] …

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