Mumbai: The country’s third largest drug maker by sales Cipla Ltd. and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative or DNDi, a not for profit research and development organization, have said on Wednesday that the new malaria drug, a fixed dose combination of artesunate and mefloquine developed by them has been pre-qualified or recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). This combination drug is currently marketed by Cipla in India under the brand name Mefliam Plus, and by the WHO pre-qualification it can supply this drug to other markets under the WHO’s anti-malaria programmes and also independently.
“The prequalification announcement is a recognition that Mefliam Plus meets WHO’s high quality standards and we aim to make this treatment widely available throughout Asia’, said Jaideep Gogtay, medical director, Cipla.
“The availability of this fixed dose combination will have a direct impact on patients, especially in Asia’, said Bernard Pécoul, executive director, DNDi. ‘It addresses an important public health need in the region as it forms part of the malaria treatment arsenal necessary to control the disease.’
Local drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. had also developed a similar combination drug for the treatment of Malaria in collaboration with the government of India.