BACKGROUND: Recently global health advocates have called for the introduction of artemisinin-containing antimalarial combination therapies to help curb the impact of drug-resistant malaria in Africa. Retail trade in artemisinin monotherapies could undermine efforts to restrict this class of medicines to more theoretically sound combination treatments. METHODS: This paper describes a systematic search for artemisinin-containing products at a random sample of licensed pharmacies in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania in July 2005.
BACKGROUND: Malaria control strategies emphasize the need for prompt and effective treatment of malaria episodes. To increase treatment efficacy, Tanzania changed its first-line treatment from chloroquine to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in 2001. The effect of this policy change on the availability of antimalarials was studied in rural south-eastern Tanzania. METHODS: In 2001 and 2004, the study area was searched for commercial outlets selling drugs and their stocks were recorded. Household information was obtained from the local Demographic Surveillance System.
A range of antimalarial drugs were procured from private pharmacies in urban and peri-urban areas in the major cities of six African countries, situated in the part of that continent and the world that is most highly endemic for malaria. Semi-quantitative thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and dissolution testing were used to measure active pharmaceutical ingredient content against internationally acceptable standards. 35% of all samples tested failed either or both tests, and were substandard.
BACKGROUND: Throughout Africa, the private retail sector has been recognised as an important source of antimalarial treatment, complementing formal health services. However, the quality of advice and treatment at private outlets is a widespread concern, especially with the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). As a result, ACTs are often deployed exclusively through public health facilities, potentially leading to poorer access among parts of the population. This research aimed at assessing the performance of the retail sector in rural Tanzania.
BACKGROUND: Artemether-lumefantrine (ALu) replaced sulphadoxine-pymimethamine (SP) as the official first-line anti-malarial in Tanzania in November 2006. So far, artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is contra-indicated during pregnancy by the national malaria treatment guidelines, and pregnant women depend on SP for Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPTp) during pregnancy. SP is still being dispensed by private drug stores, but it is unknown to which extent. If significant, it may undermine its official use for IPTp through induction of resistance.
BACKGROUND: Continued progress towards global reduction in morbidity and mortality due to malaria requires scale-up of effective case management with artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT). The first case of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was documented in western Cambodia. Spread of artemisinin resistance would threaten recent gains in global malaria control. As such, the anti-malarial market and malaria case management practices in Cambodia have global significance.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the quality of malaria case management in Cameroon 5 years after the adoption of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). Treatment patterns were examined in different types of facility, and the factors associated with being prescribed or receiving an ACT were investigated. METHODS: A cross-sectional cluster survey was conducted among individuals of all ages who left public and private health facilities and medicine retailers in Cameroon and who reported seeking treatment for a fever.
BACKGROUND: Increasing affordability of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) in the African retail sector could be critical to expanding access to effective malaria treatment, but must be balanced by efforts to protect the efficacy of these drugs. Previous research estimates ACT adherence rates among public sector patients, but adherence among retail sector purchasers could differ substantially. This study aimed to estimate adherence rates to subsidized, over-the-counter ACT in rural Uganda.
In Uganda, as in many parts of Africa, the majority of the population seek treatment for malaria in drug shops as their first point of care; however, parasitological diagnosis is not usually offered in these outlets. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria have attracted interest in recent years as a tool to improve malaria diagnosis, since they have proved accurate and easy to perform with minimal training. Although RDTs could feasibly be performed by drug shop vendors, it is not known how much customers would be willing to pay for an RDT if offered in these settings.
BACKGROUND: Patent medicine vendors (PMV) provide antimalarial treatment and care throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, and can play an important role in the fight against malaria. Their close-to-client infrastructure could enable lifesaving artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) to reach patients in time. However, systematic assessments of drug sellers' performance quality are crucial if their role is to be managed within the health system.