10 Nov 2004

Malaria drugs in short supply for the next five months

4:13 pm on 10 November 2004

There is a warning that anti-malaria drugs will be in short supply throughout the western Pacific until March of next year.

The World Health Organisation office in Manila says due to increasing demand, there will be a short supply of artemether-lumefantrine, an ACT drug treatment.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that orders for artemether-lumefantrine have increased from just over 200 thousand treatment courses in 2001, to a forecast ten million this year, while projected demand in 2005 is 60 million treatments.

ACTs are considered the most effective way to treat the most deadly form of malaria.

Since 2001, WHO has recommended to countries that where malaria is resistant to conventional treatments such as chloroquine, they should switch to ACTs.