Perspective Healthcare, a locally-based SME pharmaceutical firm, on Tuesday unveiled a new anti-malaria drug into the Kenyan market, pyramax for the management of uncomplicated malaria.
The once-daily, 3-day therapy is the first in Africa for South-Korean based Shin Poong Pharmaceuticals.
The fixed-dose combination of pyronaridine and artesunate was co-developed by Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Shin Poong and is the newest ACT combination to be approved by a Stringent Regulatory Authority.
The drug, Dr Winnie Gitau (Perspective Healthcare Kenya) noted, has been in the works for at least 17 years and has been pre-qualified by World Health Organization (WHO).
“Our pride in the launch today is that we are taking the management of malaria beyond efficacy towards the patient,” Dr Winnie said.
Pyramax is also the first Korean product included in WHO’s list of prequalified medicines for malaria and was added to the WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (EMLc) in 2017.
It is indicated for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in adults and children over 20kg (Pyramax tablets) and in children and infants between 5 and 20 kg (Pyramax granules).
As of March 2018, over 2,300 patients had already been treated with Pyramax in community settings.
Dr Welby Chimwani (National Malaria Control Programme) said that the research team looks forward to discovering more molecules so as to help avert serious problems such as resistance as discovered in South East Asia.
According to the latest edition of the 2018 Economic survey by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 17,553 people succumbed to malaria.
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