Thursday, March 01, 2007

Good News from Big Pharma

You may have never heard of Sanofi-Aventis but it's the fourth-largest drug company in the world and based in Paris. Working in partnership with the charity, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, the company has introduced a new, cheap and effective drug to fight malaria.

The medicine goes by the name, ASAQ. It blends two of the most powerful malaria-fighters, artemisinin and amodiaquine. Not only is it effective but it's affordable even for third world countries. A treatment for an adult costs a dollar and consists of two pills a day for three days. Treating a child comes in at just half a dollar.

Malaria takes the lives of 3,000 African babies and children - each day. That's about a million or more every year.

Best of all, Sonafi has decided not to patent ASAQ so that it can be produced even more cheaply by generic drug companies in countries like India.

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative was set up in 2003 by Doctors Without Borders to develop partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies aimed at developing cost-effective drugs for tropical diseases.

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