May & Baker Nigeria Plc, a local pharmaceutical company, has introduced a new anti-malarial drug to treat malaria in the country. The new drug, Malact, is a dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine combination-based formulation that claims to achieve fast relief from malaria and guarantee improved post-treatment protection.
With increasing resistance to older drugs, the World Health Organisation (WHO) years back jettisoned Chloroquine and recommended Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) as the first-line drug for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria.
However, most ACTs have since shown limitations including resistance to treatment. But the dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine combination, the newer artemisinin-based combination therapy has shown improved efficacy in multiple trials and is considered the most promising drug currently available for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria.
The combination is said to have reliable efficacy guaranteeing patients faster relief compared to other ACTs available in the market. It is also believed to have better post-treatment protection because of its piperaquine content that makes it possible for patients not to experience relapse for at least six weeks.
Malact, May & Baker’s new product, is said to prevent malaria for up to six weeks and prevent recrudescence of malaria. Other advantages of Malact include convenient dosing because it is taken once a day and this reduces the chances of dosage non-compliance. It does not require to be taken with fatty meals by the patient before it can be absorbed.
At a media launch of the new anti-malaria product in Lagos, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, Managing Director/CEO, May & Baker Nigeria Plc. said the introduction of Malact is part of the company’s effort at continually confronting the malaria scourge by providing effective and affordable medicines for the treatment of the disease.
He said that Malact is the latest and most effective arsenal in the toolbox for the fight against malaria. He said the goal of May & Baker is to continue to be the one-stop-shop for quality antimalarials.
Mr. Chukutem Chukuka, executive director, Pharma Sales & Marketing of May & Baker in his remark said
“Malact has a reliable efficacy which guarantees patient faster relief compared to other ACTs currently available in the market. It also has better posttreatment protection because of the piperaquine content that makes it possible for patients not to experience relapse for at least six weeks. Malact, therefore, prevents malaria for up to six weeks and prevents the recrudescence of malaria”.
According to the World Health Organization, Malaria remains a major global health challenge with over 200 million cases annually in Africa. It is responsible for over100, 000 deaths in Nigeria every year.
In addition to the loss of life, malaria places an economic burden on African nations that is estimated to be worth over $12 billion in direct cost and GDP loss annually.
The introduction of the believed more efficacious dihydro artemin ism piperaquine-based antimalarial drug is, therefore, a great relief that promises to reduce malaria-related mortality. May & Baker is Nigeria’s first pharmaceutical company with over 76 years’ experience of doing business in the country.