The private sector role in the supply of antimalarial drugs: Evidence from ACTwatch & implications for initiatives to improve ACT access

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Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs)

  • highly effective, recommended treatment for Pf malaria
  • 228 million doses are needed to treat Pf cases; approx. 100 million doses distributed per annum (2010 RBM)

Despite free or highly subsidised provision, limited access and availability of ACTs in public sector has resulted in poor coverage

  • 3%-21% of febrile children in Africa receive ACT (2008/10 ACTwatch)

Many seek treatment from private sector retailers

  • Retail prices for ACT are 4-22 times higher than those of older, less effective antimalarials (e.g. CQ, SP)
  • Most retail customers purchase less effective antimalarials, artemisinin monotherapies (AMTs), or just painkillers