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Novartis Malaria Initiative: best practice example of pharmaceutical industry's engagement in the fight against malaria


Address for correspondence: Gilbert Lefèvre, Translational Sciences, Novartis Pharma AG, WSJ-210.4.25, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland.


Despite considerable advances in the treatment and prevention of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum is still a threat to millions of people across the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, with infants and young children bearing the greatest burden in terms of morbidity and mortality. Since 1999, the artemisinin-based combination therapy artemether-lumefantrine (AL; Coartem™) has been made available. A wealth of evidence supports consistently high efficacy of AL, and a favorable safety and tolerability profile has been demonstrated. The child-friendly dispersible formulation of AL has proven to be as effective and well tolerated as the standard tablets, and will encourage ease of administration and improved adherence to the drug regimen. This article reviews the significant impact made by AL on the progress in malaria control and describes the way forward for the Novartis Malaria Initiative in leading the fight against malaria.