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Local firms to produce malaria drug

The Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries (TPI), Mr Ramadhani Madabida, told the 'Daily News' at the weekend that the process towards the goal was going on smoothly.He said more local industries were capable of manufacturing ALu and already stability studies are ongoing and are registered with Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA).

"We are now doing a stability study for Artemether-Amodiaquin. This will be followed by ALu and already TDFA have received it for registration," he said.

Efforts to contact the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on the current development failed while TFDA through its Acting Director for Drugs and Medical Supplies, Mr Mtango Fimbo, admitted that it was handling the matter.

Malaria is the leading killer disease especially among children under five years of age and pregnant women. The government spends more than 20bn/- to buy imported anti-malaria drugs.  
 
The country changed its first-line treatment for malaria from sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) to artemether-lumefantrine (ALu) in 2007. Currently, subsidized ALu is made available in both public and private health facilities and Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets administered by TFDA.

Mr Madabida appealed for the government to do more in promoting and protecting local products against the imported and sometimes cheap medicines.

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Author: PIUS RUGONZIBWA

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