Novartis has reached a delivery milestone of 300 million pediatric antimalarial treatments supplied without profit since 2009, helping to reduce the disease burden for children in more than 30 malaria-endemic countries.
Coartem Dispersible is the first artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT) developed by Novartis in collaboration with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) specifically to meet the needs of children (weighing 5kg and above). Never before have so many pediatric treatments been distributed in such a short timeframe to children suffering from malaria, Novartis said Wednesday.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable yet life-threatening disease, caused by parasites (primarily Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax). These are transmitted to people through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Infants and young children are among those most at risk of contracting malaria, with currently 70% of malaria deaths occurring in children under the age of 5 years. While this number has fallen significantly by 71% since 2000, malaria still kills a child every two minutes.
“This milestone underscores our long-standing commitment to the fight against malaria and to the children who are most at risk from the disease,” said Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis.
“We are proud of the part we have played in helping to reduce childhood deaths from malaria. And we continue to provide medicine at no profit to people who need it, contributing to the goal of a world free from the disease.”