25 February 2013

Africa: New Pack for Injectable Artesunate Accepted By WHO Prequalification

Improved InjAS pack will be easier to use and cost neutral

The WHO Prequalification Programme has updated information on Injectable Artesunate (InjAS) to include a new package of this life-saving drug for severe malaria. Approved in November 2010 by WHO's prequalification process, the pack now includes an ampoule of sodium chloride injection (saline solution) in addition to the original InjAS vial and sodium bicarbonate ampoule.

MMV has been working closely with national malaria control programmes to design customized training materials for InjAS. The improved pack emerged in response to a need from the field to include the appropriate dosage of saline solution to dilute the reconstituted artesunate.

Manufacturer and partner Guilin Pharmaceutical was quick to adapt the old pack, making the medicine more user-friendly. The WHO Global Malaria Programme and WHO Prequalification Programme also played a strong, supportive role in this process.

The new pack will ensure that all the elements required to administer the drug are of dependable quality, available in one place, and cheaper, as it will cost the same as the 2-vial package (USD1.35).

This new and improved InjAs package reflects the ongoing commitment of MMV and partner Guilin to improve severe malaria outcomes. Guilin is currently working on alternative dosages for InjAS (30mg and 120mg vials) to reduce wastage and provide greater flexibility to healthcare workers, and will be seeking prequalification for these in the near future.

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