Government Supplied Anti-Malarials Work but Market Drugs are Fake

Government supplies of anti-malarial drugs are effective and genuine, reassured Nigeria’s National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), while market drugs are risky and potentially fake.

Science and Development Network reports that Nigerian drug quality concerns have triggered government efficacy trials of two different combination therapies for malaria (artemether and lumefantrine; artesunate and amodiaquine). The NMCP tested the drugs in seven sites across the country and the preliminary results are now being validated, said Babajide Coker, head of Nigeria’s National Malaria Control Programme.

“The drugs from the government stores are efficacious, as discovered by the trials, but some failures were observed,” said Philips Agomo, a malaria researcher at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research. He said re-infection with the parasite midway into treatment may contribute to treatment failure in some people.

Enu Lawson, a mother of two told The Science and Development Network, “Last time my son took ill to malaria, we used artemether-lumefantrine but the symptoms refused to go away”.

But Samuel Oyeniyi of the World Bank’s malaria program in Nigeria drug failures are often due to market-purchased fakes. “You cannot expect to buy any brand of malaria drug from the regular market and expect that you’ll get the desired result.”