Relevance and Acceptance of Artemisinin Combined Therapy against Malaria in Orissa, India

Today I went to IMA House for a talk. It started 3 days back. Ipca a large pharmaceutical company of India invited specialists in Medicine, Pediatrics, Gynaecology and General practitioners of Orissa to IMA house at Cuttack for a talk on Atremisinin and Malaria. I got the invitation too. The event was on May 4th 2009. Some Peter J. Weina from US was going to give the talk. Now that was funny.

A single physician in India treats more malaria cases in a year than the total number of malaria cases in any US state. Well the talk turned out to be even more funny. The US FDA has yet not cleared Artesunate. This drug has been saving lives for thousand years in China. We in India have been using it for quite some year now. And here comes a pharmacologist from US who says we need to use artesunate. Come on give me a break. We already are using it.
So what is the point? Well the point was there of course. WHO has recently published a paper regarding ACT. Artemisinin Combined Therapy, according to WHO is the way to go in combating Malaria in near future. So in order to create awareness about the combined blister packages of ACT, Ipca has arranged these talks by Peter J. Weina. So at the end of the talk, we got the message of use of combined therapy of Artemisinins, but the question still remained. In Orissa and in India no resistance has developed against Artesunate. So is it justified to give so much burden to th patient to bear the extra cost of combined therapy?

So at the end of the day, we knew the guideline by WHO. But as doctors we might think otherwise as we have to do what is best for the patient.

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