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Novartis cuts price of malaria drug

Novartis has made significant price cuts to its malaria medicine, increasing access to the drug for millions of people on the African continent. The reduction in costs coincides with World Malaria Day on April 25
Novartis has made significant price cuts to its malaria medicine, increasing access to the drug for millions of people on the African continent. The reduction in costs coincides with World Malaria Day on April 25.

The price of malaria drug Coartem, which Novartis provides to the public sector on a not-for-profit basis, has been reduced by an average of 20 per cent.

By focusing investment and pushing through the expansion of is production capacity at facilities in China and the US, Novartis has increased the efficacy of Coartem manufacture. Coartem (artemether/lumefantrine) is the only fixed dose artemisinin-based combination treatment (ACT) available for treatment of malaria.

Dr Daniel Vasella, chairman and chief executive officer of Novartis, said: "We are pleased that Novartis is able to significantly reduce the price of Coartem which will further improve access to Coartem for patients in developing countries, helping save even more lives."

"The effectiveness of Coartem made it the leading ACT medicine in malaria-endemic countries," he added.

Since 2001, Novartis has supplied malaria-affected countries with more than 160 million treatments to combat the disease. According to Novartis, Coartem has yielded cure rates of 95 per cent, even in areas where cases of drug resistant malaria occur.

Between 300 and 500 million people contract malaria every year and a million will die from the disease.

23rd April 2008

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