Ghana Approves New Drug for Malaria Treatment

by Medindia Content Team on  December 4, 2007 at 7:17 PM Drug News
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Ghana Approves New Drug for Malaria Treatment

Ghana's Food and Drug Board has approved a new drug for the treatment of complicated malaria, or malaria that affects the brain, Onka Asthana, deputy director of the India-based Central Drug Research Institute, said recently, the GNA/ reports.

Asthana said the drug -- called Alpha-Beta Arteether, or the Emal injection -- recently has been shown to be effective in the treatment of the disease in India. He said that clinical trials of the drug found that treatment success rates for uncomplicated malaria were between 93% and 100% and that treatment success rates for complicated cases were between 91% and 100%.

Between 4% and 8.5% of complicated malaria cases resulted in death, Asthana said, adding that additional clinical trials and early treatment are needed to prevent similar outcomes in the future.

The drug was developed in India by Themis Medicare in 1999 and targets drug-resistant malaria, as well as recurring cases of the disease. The drug was created using traditional Chinese medicine and has to be administered for three days, Asthana said. Sumit Mitra of Themis said the Emal injection has been approved for use in Cambodia, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia, as well as other African and Asian countries.

He said it is expected to be introduced in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. In Ghana, the drug will be sold for 70,000 cedis, which is about $8, or less per dose, according to Gopal Vasu, director of Ghana-based M&G Pharmaceuticals.

Source: Kaiser-Family-Foundation

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I am a graduate student currently working on the Pharmacokinetic parameters of oral amodiaquine in Ghanaians. It has been observed and established that there is a significant difference between the study subjects of Ghanaians and Zambian adults as far as the disposition or pharmacokinetics of amodiaquine is concerned. This implies that there might be the need for separate dosing regimen of the drug among the two sub populations. For an optimization of the therapeutic use of the drug in Ghana, there is the urgent need for its dosing regimen adjustment; since there is the speculation that the dosing regimen of amodiaquine in the West African sub region,(hence Ghana) is based on pharmacokinetic studies on East African subjects. The grapevine source of this vital information has been my bone of contention and I would be most grateful if the source could be made available to me. The availability of the original source of this information may go a long way to assist in developing a more appropriate dosing regimen of the drug in this part of a malaria-proned world, (West African sub region).
Looking forward for a favourable response soon. Thank you.

Ango Bediako

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