Apr 17, 2009 | 2
A subsidy program intended to drive down the cost of lifesaving malaria drugs called artemisinin-based combination therapies—now considered the most effective treatment against the parasitic disease—was unveiled today in Norway.
The program, a partnership between nonprofits, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and 30 governments, could lower the cost of the treatment, whose main ingredient is a Chinese herb, to between 20 and 50 cents.
Right now, the therapy costs $6 to $10 at the roadside shops where remote villagers purchase the meds, according to the new project, the Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria (AMFm). The first 11 countries where the discounted meds will be available are Benin, Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.
Feb 26, 2009 | 1
Curing tuberculosis that's resistant to the most commonly used, first-line drugs is a growing problem, with an estimated half million people worldwide now infected with so-called MDR (multi-drug resistant) TB. Of those, an estimated 50,000 have extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains that don't respond to more potent drugs, either. Now scientists say they've hit upon a potential breakthrough: an antibiotic previously dismissed as useless against TB killed 13 resistant strains of the bacteria in the lab when it was combined with another drug.
The finding, published today in Science, has yet to be tested in people, study co-author John Blanchard, a biochemistry professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, tells ScientificAmerican.com. But in a Petri dish, the meds, meropenem and clavulanate, destroyed and stopped the replication of the resistant TB bacteria, cultured from mucus samples from South Korean patients.
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