New Malaria Drug Unveiled

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Olpharm Nigeria Limited has introduced a new malaria drug, Combisunate 80/480 into the Nigerian market.

The drug, manufactured by Ajanta Pharma Limted is being marketed by Olpharm and is a combination of Arthemeter 80mg and Lumefantrine 480mg.

Unveiling the new drug at the weekend in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, the Managing Director, Olpharm Nigeria Limited, Johnson Olusetire, said the new product was certified by the World Health Organisation, WHO, National Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC and the National Malaria Control.

“The Ministry of Health changed its treatment policy to the more efficacious Artemisinin based Combination Therapy, ACTs in 2004 and in line with the WHO recommendations has adopted Artemether plus Lumefantrine as the first line of therapy for the management of uncomplicated malaria.

“Arthemether plus Lumefantrine is also recommended for use in children. Doses are based on child’s body weight,” he said.

He said the new drug is already a household name in several drug stores and retail outlets in Nigeria and that the Lagos State Government, seeing the efficacy of the new drug, allowed it into all its public hospitals.

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Olusetire stated that the drug is used basically in acute cases of malaria attack, adding that the combination is safe and had high cure rate for the family.

“It provides excellent efficacy and tolerability. It has innovative dosing to ensure excellent patient compliance-just one tablet twice daily for three days. It has rapid parasite elimination-highly effective against acute, uncomplicated malaria caused by P.falciparum and it has prompt reduction of fever,” he said.

He described the drug as a winning combination to combat malaria, saying that “it is cheaper at N500 for a pack and has high quality and no itching. It certainly has an edge over other malaria drugs.”

Olusetire stated that the drug had double strength to fight malaria because of its combination, adding that the side effect of the drug is so mild and rarely reported by its users.

On the issue of faking the new drug, Olusetire said NAFDAC had ensured that by January, 2003, a code is placed on drug pack with a number to confirm the veracity of any drug whether it is fake or not.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga