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Novartis cuts anti-malaria drug cost

Pharmaceutical company Novartis is cutting the price of its anti-malarial drug Coartem by 20 per cent.

This content was published on April 23, 2008 - 08:54

The reduced price to the public will come into effect on World Malaria Day on Friday, the company announced on Wednesday.

Novartis said the move was made possible through efficiency gains after expanding its production capacity in the United States and China.

The drug is currently supplied to the public at cost under an agreement with the World Health Organisation. The reduction will apply to all Coartem dosages, reducing the average cost from $1 (SFr1.01) to $0.80.

Novartis says Coartem can produce a cure rate of up to 95 per cent and has been used to help save about 450,000 lives.

Currently, the most effective drugs against the disease are combination treatments such as Coartem containing artemisinin, a plant derivative used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat fever.

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