Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

China’s anti-malaria medicine producers face market collapse

20.12.2007
Just three years ago, a global shortage of the anti-malaria medicine artemisinin alarmed medics fighting the killer disease, and spurred scientists who are developing alternative sources of the drug.

Yet a glut of the compound has now saturated the market to such a degree that prices have plummeted, forcing Chinese drug manufacturers out of business.

Artemisinin is extracted from the sweet wormwood plant Artemisia annua, and China is home to 80–90 per cent of the world’s supply. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Novartis have worked together since 2001 to channel much of that medicine into Africa.

But the sudden increase in demand for artemisinin caused a serious shortage, triggering a massive price rise that peaked at 8000 yuan (£537) per kilogram of artemisinin in 2005. To capitalise on this, the number of Chinese artemisinin producers rose from three in 2004 to more than 80 in 2007.

... more about:
»Artemisinin »Who »anti-malaria »producers

China’s annual supply of artemisinin now stands at about 150 tonnes per year – roughly six times what Novartis and the WHO are prepared to buy annually. The resulting surplus has caused the market price of artemisinin to plummet to around 1600 yuan (£107) per kilogram, and the crash has already forced some artemisinin producers out of business.

Novartis points out that it is not responsible for the business crisis. ‘We have repeatedly warned Chinese suppliers that the African anti-malaria market is very small due to their low consumption capacity,’ explained a spokesperson for Novartis China. They added that the WHO is unlikely to buy more artemisinin without an increase in funding for their malaria campaign.

Crucially, the Chinese surplus is still not reaching patients in Africa. Only one Chinese firm – Guangxi-based Guilin Pharmaceutical – has obtained WHO approval (in August 2007) to sell artemisinin in Africa, as part of a combination therapy with another drug.

Chinese market analysts blame the Chinese drug regulator for issuing licenses to produce artemisinin too easily, and for failing to close down unauthorised producers. ‘Local governments should be blamed as well,’ Zhou Chengming, president of Beijing-based Shizhen Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Group told Chemistry World. ‘They have exaggerated artemisinin as the great hope for Chinese pharmaceuticals to go abroad.’

The full text of this Chemistry World story is at:

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/December/19120701.asp

Brian Emsley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.chemistryworld.org
http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/December/19120701.asp

Further reports about: Artemisinin Who anti-malaria producers

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Closing the carbon loop
08.12.2016 | University of Pittsburgh

nachricht Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>