Malaria patients can soon forgo complicated treatment regimes for one combining two drugs in a single dose, a non profit drug development group and a Brazilian pharmaceutical company said Thursday.
The new treatment will cost 2.50 dollars (1.57 euros) and will be made available throughout Latin America and Southeast Asia over 2008 and 2009, they said.
Some three million new cases of malaria are reported in Southeast Asia annually, while in Latin America, a million cases are reported every year, according to the non-profit drug development group, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi).
DNDi, which developed the new treatment with Brazilian public pharmaceutical company Farmanguinhos/Fiocruz, said its drug called ASMQ combines the current treatment of two drugs - AS and MQ - into a single blue tablet.
Adults and children can then take a single daily dose of one or two tablets for three days.
Current treatment requires twice-daily dosages involving up to seven tablets.
"This new fixed-dose combination is a public good that has been developed according to patients' needs by being easy to use, more affordable and a quality product," said DNDi executive director Bernard Pecoul.
Malaria affects more than a billion people worldwide and kills a million -- mainly under age five -- every year, the vast majority in sub-Saharan Africa.