As part of its continuing coverage of malaria, NPR's "Shots" blog features a story on counterfeit anti-malarial drugs, which "are among the most popular drugs to fake." According to the blog, "[T]hese faux pharmaceuticals are particularly dangerous because malaria can kill a person in a matter of days," and, if the drugs contain only a small amount of the real drug, they can contribute to the development of drug-resistant malaria parasites. "And that appears to be happening now in Southeast Asia with one of the most powerful anti-malarials, artemisinin," the blog writes (Beaubien, 12/19).
In related news, Inter Press Service examines efforts to track and treat drug-resistant malaria along the Thai-Myanmar border. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, head of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, said, "We need to contain the resistance in these local areas. ... This has to be seen as a global concern because there is no other highly effective anti-malaria drug than artemisinin therapy," according to the news service. IPS highlights the need for sustained funding to contain the spread of drug-resistant malaria in the region (Macan-Markar, 12/20).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.