Low Cost Fails To Ensure The Availability Of Lifesaving Drug
A life-saving drug used to treat seriously-ill pregnant women in Africa is not widely available – in part because it’s too cheap. Magnesium sulphate is a low-cost but effective treatment for eclampsia and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. The disease, although relatively rare, claims the lives of more than 63,000 women a year, mostly in poorer countries and can also kill unborn children.
But researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), working with colleagues in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Norway, found that availability of the drug is patchy in both Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Writing in this week’s edition of the prestigious British Medical Journal, they said that part of the problem was that because the drug is cheap, pharmaceutical companies do not press for its registration with health authorities or market it widely as the profits to be made from it are small.
Raymond Hainey | alfa
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