French Pharma Company Sanofi-Aventis has come out with a cheap and effective drug for malaria. Sanofi has developed the treatment in association with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), which is supported by global aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). This treatment called as ASAQ is a combination of artesunate and amodiaquine.
The earlier treatment for malaria had two tablets which had to be consumed simultaneously. But people have been missing out on one tablet in most cases. This has resulted in the malarial parasite developing a resistance to artesunate which is the main component in the malarial therapy.
But with ASAQ, the therapy is a combination of artesunate and the amodiaquine in one tablet. In children, smaller doses of ASAQ are recommended. The greatest advantage of ASAQ is that it is easily affordable. The cost of ASAQ for a three day course for adults is less than $1 and it is less than 50 cents for children under the age of 5.
Sanofi-Aventis has also decided not to patent this drug which would enable the other companies to manufacture this drug at a cheaper rate for developing nations. The cheaper price of this drug would dissuade the counterfeiters from making them as there is no profit for them in this endeavor.
Malaria as a disease kills 500 million every year and in African nations one child is killed due to malaria every 30 seconds.