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Falling demand for mefloquine threatens future of this important antimalarial, experts warn

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1190 (Published 26 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1190
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

Negative publicity about the antimalarial drug mefloquine (Lariam) could reduce sales so much that its manufacturers, Roche, would stop making it, an adviser to the Ministry of Defence has warned.

Ron Behrens, a senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the loss of mefloquine would be damaging. Although there are two other drugs, they also have side effects of comparable severity, and no new antimalarials are on the horizon.

“Mefloquine use has dropped off dramatically, even in the US where it was developed, as a result of media and public pressure,” he said at a background briefing at the …

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