Children bear more than 70% of the burden of global malaria mortality, yet prior to 2009 there were no high-quality ACTs specifically developed for children. Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics can differ between adults and children. Furthermore, antimalarial tablets for adults need to be broken up or crushed for children, making it difficult to give correct dosing, and the bitter taste causes children to gag or spit out the medicine that could save their lives.
Novartis and MMV co-developed Coartem® Dispersible (artemether-lumefantrine) to address these unmet medical needs and set a new standard of child-friendly treatment for malaria. This flavour-masked formulation disperses in as little as 10ml of water within 30 seconds and is readily taken by young patients, thus helping improve compliance and dosing accuracy. Since its launch, 390 million treatments of Coartem Dispersible have been distributed in more than 50 countries.