India launches first indigenously developed anti-malaria drug

Health Ministery launched the first indigenously developed anti-malaria drug in the country to mark World Malaria Day and stressed upon accessibility and affordability of the medicines while urging states to be more active in eradication of the disease. Launching Synriam, an indigenously developed malaria drug developed by Ranbaxy in collaboration with Department of Science and Tech-nology with support of Indian Council for Medical Research, Azad said, “I hope the company will keep the price of this drug at affordable levels so that the poor and needy get it, as it is the poor who suffer the most.” The Health Minister said though a Committee constituted by the Director General of Health Services is still ascertaining the number of cases in the country, which is yet to give its report, but it is estimated that the mortality is between 35,000 to 40,000. “We still have huge number of malaria cases. We need to reduce this suffering,” Azad said. However, Azad lamented, “In our country, earlier the state governments were well-equipped. But unfortunately over a period of time, state governments have become passive, since Government of India has become active inspite of the fact that Health is a state subject.” “For the last seven years, Government of Indfia is funding the state government through NRHM in a number of fields – creating infrastructure, in capacity building, in adding human resource and also supplying medicines. As a result of which the outcome should have been that the states would have seen this as a rare opportunity,” he said. Azad further said that “With active support of the Centre, industries are coming, external agencies are supporting, the Government of India is supporting and this is the time when state governments should come forward and see that we get rid of this menace…But unfortunately, most of the states are not seizing this opportunity to strengthen their infrastructure…most states have withdrawn their malaria supervisors and other staff.


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