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May & Baker Nigeria eyes growth with new malaria drug

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Nigeria’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, May & Baker Nigeria Plc has introduced a new anti-malarial medicine that promises to revolutionise malaria disease treatment in the country.

The new drug, named Malact is a dihydroarteminsin-piperaquine combination-based formulation which ensures fast relief from malaria and guarantees better post treatment protection.

Managing Director, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Mr Nnamdi  Okafor,  said the introduction of Malact is part of the company’s efforts at  continually  confronting  the  malaria  scourge  by  providing  effective  and  affordable medicines for treatment of the disease.

He stated further that Malact is the latest and most effective arsenal in the toolbox for fight against malaria, adding that the goal of May & Baker Nigeria is to continue to be the one-stop-shop for quality antimalarials.

According to him, the introduction of the more efficacious dihydroarteminsin-piperaquine  based  anti-malarial  drug  is  a  great  relief  that  promises  to  reduce malaria related mortality.

Executive Director, Pharma Sales and Marketing, May & Baker Nigeria, Mr Chukutem Chukuka explained that Malact has a reliable efficacy which guarantees patient faster relief compared   to other  Artermisinin based  Combination  Therapies  (ACTs) currently   available   in   the   market.

According to him, the new drug also   has better post-treatment protection because of the piperaquine content that makes it possible for patients not to experience relapse for at least six weeks.

“Malact therefore prevents malaria for up to six weeks and prevents recrudescence of malaria,” Chukuka said.

He outlined other advantages of Malact to include convenient dosing because it is taken once a day, which reduces the chances of dosage non-compliance while it  does  not  require  to  be  taken  with  fatty  meals  by  the  patient  before  it  can  be absorbed.

With  increasing  resistance  to  older  drugs,  the  World  Health  Organisation  (WHO)  had jettisoned  Chloroquine and  recommended  Artermisinin based  Combination  Therapies  (ACTs)  as first  line drug  for the  treatment of uncomplicated malaria.

However, most ACTs have since then shown    limitations    including    resistance    to    treatment. But    dihydroarteminsin-piperaquine combination,  the  newer artemisinin-based combination  therapy  has  shown  excellent  efficacy  in multiple  trials and  is  considered  the  most promising drug  currently  available  for  the treatment  of uncomplicated malaria.

The combination has a reliable efficacy which guarantees patient faster relief compared to other ACTs currently available in the market.  It also has better post treatment protection because of the piperaquine content that makes it possible for patients not to experience relapse for at least six weeks.

May & Baker Nigeria Plc remains a key player in the anti-malarial market in Nigeria. It was the first company to introduce an antimalarial drug to Nigerians with its Nivaquine brand   of   chloroquine   sulphate   decades   ago.   When   the   WHO   discountenanced chloroquine as first line drug for the treatment of malaria, and recommended the ACTs, the  company  was  one  of  the  first  pharmaceutical  manufacturers  in  Nigeria  to  locally produce  ACTs  with  the  introduction  of  its  artemisinin  combination  therapy  (ACT) antimalarial drug “Artelum” which is a brand of artemether-lumefantrine in April 2009.

According to the World Health organization, Malaria remains a major global health challenge with over 200 million cases annually in Africa. It is responsible for over100, 000 deaths    in    Nigeria    every    year. In    addition    to    loss    of    life, malaria places   an economic burden on African nations  that  is  estimated  to  be  worth  over  $12  billion  in direct cost and GDP loss annually.

May & Baker is Nigeria’s first pharmaceutical company with over 76 years’ experience of doing business in the country. It has one of the few WHO-cGMP production facilities in Nigeria. Its facility was  certified  by  the  World  Health  Organisation  in  2014.

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