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.