About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Menace of Counterfeit Malaria Drugs: Experts

by Nancy Needhima on December 6, 2011 at 9:15 PM
Font : A-A+

Menace of Counterfeit Malaria Drugs: Experts

Counterfeit or cheap quality malaria drugs are boosting resistance in parts of Southeast Asia, a crisis predicted to worsen unless more rigid regulations are adopted, US experts said Monday.

"The malaria parasite has a history of adapting to drugs and adapting to insecticides," Regina Rabinovich, director of infectious diseases at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, told a hearing of US lawmakers.

Advertisement

"Drug resistance to the most effective drug available, artemisinin-based combination therapy, is developing and has been recognized in southeast Asia."

Last month, the World Health Organization said resistance to artemisinin appeared to be spreading in the region from the Cambodia-Thailand border, where it was first detected in 2009, and possibly moving into Myanmar.
Advertisement

Half of the world's population is exposed to the mosquito-borne disease which kills 860,000 people every year, according to the WHO.

According to Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute, research has shown that about half the malaria drugs that failed quality control tests also contained some artemisinin.

"So they are directly contributing to resistance," he told lawmakers at the House subcommitee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.

"Resistance is being noticed on the Thai, Cambodian, Burmese borders and resistance is likely to increase," he said.

"Fake and substandard antimalarial medications are a significant and probably growing problem."

While the actual number of poor quality drugs in circulation is unknown, "it is certainly not a negligible amount," he added, and the problem is festering because these medications are not illegal in the countries affected.

"Simply getting the medical regulatory authorities to control what is on the market for anti malarials I think is important," said Bate.

The sale and use of monotherapies, which contain just one active agent, have long been known to contribute to resistance. Experts favor combination therapies which last longer.

Bate said that coordinated action to get monotherapies off the market in Africa has shown some success, "but some companies in China, India and Vietnam are still producing them and this is a major contribution to resistance."

In addition to tougher regulations, researchers need to focus on developing new drugs against malaria, and consider making sure they cannot be sold or distributed as monotherapies, the panelists urged.

"The goal now going forward is the new drugs we develop need to be made as fixed dose combinations immediately, and never be sold or available as single entities," said Dennis Schmatz, president of Medicines for Malaria Venture North America, Inc.

"And that will definitely extend the life of any of those new drugs we develop going forward."

Rabinovich echoed that point, saying that the drugs of today will not be effective tomorrow.

"Research and development is essential because the preventive and curative tools that are available today and are so effective at controlling malaria are not sufficient to control malaria in the long term or for eradication due in part to the development of resistance," she said.

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccines May Improve Mental Health
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Malaria-water Malaria Mosquito Diseases Fever Malaria - Protection Strategies 

Recommended Reading
Malaria
Malaria is caused by a parasite that enters blood through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is .....
Malaria: The Invincible Might of a Parasite, Nestled in a 'Mite'
Malaria is a disease that is preventable and curable, yet every 30 seconds a child dies due to the ....
Fewer Side Effects Seen With Two Malaria Drugs for Travelers
A combination drug and the common antibiotic doxycycline allow travelers to fend off malaria with .....
Fever
Fever or Pyrexia is an elevation in normal body temperature. Causes of fever include infections, inj...
Malaria - Protection Strategies
Malaria is a dangerous disease with lethal consequences that requires protective measures for preven...
Mosquito Diseases
Mosquito-borne diseases, like malaria, filaria, dengue, etc are common in places conducive of mosqu...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use