Global pharma major Cipla today announced the launch of Artesunate Rectal Artesunate Suppositories (RAS) in a strength of 100 mg used for the management of severe malaria in young children.
The drug is used as a pre-referral management of severe malaria intended for children aged between six months to six years old who are critically ill and unable to take oral medicines, following which immediate refer to an appropriate facility for further care 1 is recommended.
It is not intended as a substitute for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria, for which WHO recommends the use of artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs).
Notably, malaria in 2016, took toll of over 300,000 lives of the children under the age of five, globally.
The life-saving drug was recently added to the Global Fund Expert Review Panel’s list of quality-assured medicines, while the process of WHO prequalification of this medicine moves through its final stages, Cipla said in a statement.
Umang Vohra, MD and Global CEO Cipla, said: “Our endeavour is to make RAS 100 mg available in rural areas in Africa and to national community health programmes, notably with the support of international donors that have already pledged to procure Rectal Artesunate.”
It is learnt that the RAS has been developed with the support of MMV (with UNITAID financing) and will now soon be available in four sub-Saharan countries.