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[e-drug] Artemether/lumenfantrine - pack sizes, brand name issue (4)

E-DRUG: Artemether/lumenfantrine - pack sizes, brand name issue (4)
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Dear colleagues,

   The  subject  presented  by  Rob  has  been broached here in Zambia in
   recent  months. We  can  testify  to  the  fact that the management of
   malaria  treatment  has  been complicated by this presentation of this
   brand  of  ACTs.  Programming  malaria treatment is understood in many
   countries  to  be  limited to the pack size of the ACTs. As in Malawi,
   we're  now  more  or  less  agreed  that a pack of say 1000 x 6 tablet
   strips  would  make a lot of sense, allowing programme staff to manage
   treatment across the population.

   However, programmes   such   as  Malaria also  have  an  obligation to
   determine  what  pack  size  they  need  to  have on their programmes.
   Therefore,  the  question  to  ask is have governments discussed their
   needs  with  manufacturers and donors to state their requirements? The
   innovation  brought about through the Coartem products clearly was not
   set  in  stone,  and  thus  governments  could  have reached different
   arrangements for pack- sizes for their programmes. I am sure companies
   such  as Norvatis can accomodate such requests. This has been done for
   other  programmes,  such as HIV/AIDS treatment by at least one country
   that  I  know  of,  with moderate success in financing, management and
   treatment.

   Regards,

   Dr. Bonface Fundafunda
   Drug Supply Budget Line,
   Ministry of Health,
   Lusaka,
   Zambia
   bcfunda@hotmail.com


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