Coartem® Dispersible (artemether-lumefantrine)

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, 400 million treatments of  Coartem Dispersible  have been distributed in more than 50 countries.

  • Access in Action

    • Over 25 countries participated in launch events for  Coartem  Dispersible  in Southern, West, and East Africa, organised by Novartis and MMV.

    • Patient-friendly packaging and healthcare worker training materials were developed (in both French and English).

    • MMV and Novartis focused on expediting product registration in Malawi in order to make the product available for an innovative community access initiative that Population Services International (PSI) was implementing in partnership with the Ministry of Health and MMV.  Subsequently, over 2 million courses of  Coartem Dispersible  treatment were introduced into Malawi in 2010.

    • MMV supported a multi-country analysis to understand the barriers to acceptance of WHO-recommended child-friendly treatments for malaria. This study was conducted in six francophone countries in Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Mali, and Senegal. Read the summary of findings. Recommendations from this study were shared with the World Health Organization’s ‘Better Medicines for Children’ programme.

    Past and current partners:

    Novartis, Dalberg Consulting, Ministry of Health Malawi, National Malaria Control Programmes, Pharmacy & Poisons Board of Malawi, PSI, WHO.


    Updated October 2019