Elizabeth Juma, head of the malaria control division in Kenya's ministry of health, has confirmed that highly effective malaria drugs are now available to Kenyans from their local pharmacies at a greatly discounted price.
The deal, overseen by the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and several international drug manufacturers, allows the medicines to be sold at almost one tenth of their normal retail value. The new drugs will soon carry a logo announcing their highly-subsidised price, however fears have been raised that in the meantime certain pharmacists will attempt to sell the drugs for the old price to unsuspecting members of the public.
Established in 2002, the Global Fund is a Geneva-based public/private partnership aimed at dramatically increasing resources to fight three of the world's most devastating diseases, and directing those resources to areas of greatest need. Last month the organisation entered into an agreement with six manufacturers of high quality malaria drugs: Indian companies Ajanta Pharma, Cipla and Ipca, Chinese company Guilin, Swiss firm Novartis and Sanofi-aventis from France.
The deal they came to will benefit eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. Under the agreement, manufacturers will now receive 80 per cent less from private importers, who in turn will pass the reduced rate to consumers.