In order to enable patients in malaria-endemic countries to afford these new treatments once they become available, the company will implement an equitable pricing strategy based on socio-economic conditions of different population segments. We plan to do so in consultation with our development and funding partners and other stakeholders.
Despite the tremendous progress made in combating malaria, one child still dies from the disease every two minutes. Novartis aims to contribute to the WHO’s target of reducing malaria-related child mortality by at least 90% in 2030. In Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and at least 2 more countries in sub-Saharan Africa that bear the highest number of malaria-related child deaths, we plan to work with partners to help expand access to our pediatric artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) and drive integrated community case management (iCCM) initiatives. iCCM is recognized as a key strategy (https://goo.gl/
Novartis has been committed to the fight against malaria for the past two decades, launching the first fixed-dose ACT in 1999 and the first dispersible pediatric ACT developed in partnership with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in 2009. To date, working with partners, the company has delivered more than 850 million treatments, including 350 million pediatric treatments, without profit to malaria-endemic countries.
The new commitment launches at the same time as results from a new research study (Malaria Futures for Africa, MalaFA) across 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In total, 68 African experts from governments, the research community and nongovernmental organizations expressed their views on progress and remaining challenges toward the 2030 global malaria elimination targets.
Global malaria deaths have fallen by more than 60% between 2000 and 2015. Yet respondents fear progress could stall unless national governments provide more funding and international organizations target their support more effectively.
Many experts also voiced concerns that mosquitoes were increasingly resistant to insecticides and that malaria parasites could become resistant to ACTs in the next 15-20 years. Some feared that resistance would spread faster because of expanding trade and travel between Africa and Asia, where the first signs of drug resistance are emerging. Others thought it was just as likely that resistance could emerge independently in Africa.
Respondents expressed widespread support for making better use of the currently available tools, while stressing that more emphasis should be placed on improving the delivery of existing and new interventions to fight malaria – an area currently underfunded.
The MalaFA study was commissioned by Novartis and co-chaired by Dr Richard Kamwi, Ambassador, Elimination 8 (E8), and Professor Bob Snow, of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust program, Kenya and University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Research advisers include Roll Back Malaria, Malaria No More UK and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.
According to the 2017 World Malaria Report, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2016, up from 211 million cases in 2015. The number of malaria deaths was 445,000 in 2016 vs. 438,000 in 2015. Ninety percent of malaria cases and over 90 percent of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Children under 5 are particularly at risk, and malaria takes the life of a child every two minutes.