New revisions of WHO’s Essential Medicines Lists include vital, child-friendly antimalarials brought forward by MMV and partners
On the International Day of African Child, MMV welcomes the inclusion of three medicines from the MMV-supported product portfolio on the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (EMLc). These are two artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) for adults, children and infants; and a rectal artesunate formulation specifically for young children:
- A fixed-dose combination of pyronaridine tetraphosphate and artesunate in tablets for the first-line treatment of both uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria in adults and children ≥ 20kg, and child-friendly granules for children and infants weighing 5 kg to under 20 kg.
- A fixed-dose combination of dihydroartemisinin (DHA) + piperaquine phosphate (PQP) for the first-line treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in adults, children and infants.
- Artesunate rectal dose form (100mg presentation) for the pre-referral management of severe malaria in young children.
WHO’s Model EML1 identifies medicines that “satisfy the priority health care needs of the population.” In practical terms, the WHO Model EML can help countries consider revisions to their national EMLs, which in turn, inform the procurement decisions of central medical stores and the prioritization of medicines for use in-country.
With concerted global effort, malaria incidence and deaths fell dramatically between 2001 and 2015: it is estimated that of the 6.2 million lives saved from malaria over that period, 5.9 million (95%) were those of children under the age of 5 years. Despite this significant gain, in 2016 malaria took an estimated 429,000 lives, 306,000 of whom were young children. Inclusion of these new antimalarials into the EML will help make more child-friendly antimalarial treatments accessible to those who need them most and increase the number of high-quality ACT options for inclusion in national EMLs.
“MMV is delighted with the addition of these three important antimalarials to the Essential Medicines List,” said Dr David Reddy, CEO of Medicines for Malaria Venture. “Young children bear the brunt of this terrible disease – a child dies of malaria every two minutes. With strongly committed partners like Novartis, Shin Poong, Sigma-Tau, Cipla and Strides Shasun, we have been able to prioritise the development and introduction of new, tailored medicines, including for this vulnerable population. We are working with a worldwide network of partners to accelerate the progress of new therapies and interventions in the global drive towards malaria elimination. Listing on the EML marks a major step forward in making these vital and often life-saving treatments and interventions accessible to those hardest hit by malaria.”