New Initiative Will Help Reduce Malaria Drug Prices

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The Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria (AMFm) was launched Friday, April 17th, to ensure that those suffering from malaria have access to inexpensive and effective treatment. The AMFm will reduce the price of effective malaria drugs (artemesinin-based combination therapies, ACTs), in order to drive out older, ineffective drugs (like those containing chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine) from the market.

ACTs are currently 10-40 times more expensive over the counter than their less effective counterparts. Due to the higher price, many patients continue to purchase the cheaper, less effective drugs. Presently, only one out of every five malaria patients has access to ACTs. With the AMFm, this figure is expected to change, as those who pay for treatments will likely see the price of ACTs go from $6-10 per treatment to about $0.20-0.50. The initiative’s first phase will launch in Benin, Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

This innovative initiative to bring down the price of effective malaria drugs, which will be hosted and managed by the Global Fund, was developed by Roll-Back Malaria (RBM). RBM is a global malaria partnership that includes the World Bank, UNICEF, the Dutch Government, the Global Fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation. The cost of $225-233 million needed for medicines in the first two years will be supported by UNITAID and the United Kingdom government.

To learn more, read the press release here.

-Rena Pacheco-Theard

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