Sub-par anti-malarial brands ID'd

Certain brands of anti-malarial drugs and the Sub-Saharan African countries where they circulate fared the worst in USP's disturbing analysis of drug quality, as reported last week.  US Pharmacopeia's analysis found that one-quarter to nearly one-half of the drugs sampled in Madagascar, Uganda and Senegal flunked testing. 

Investigators tested both artemisinin-based combination therapy products and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine products. The ACTs most often failed purity tests, while the SPs fared poorly in dissolution tests.

Among the findings: ACT brands with the highest number of failures are Artefan, Falcimon and Artequin. Failures were found most often Uganda and Senegal.

For the SPs, Melaxime, Paludoxine, and Malagon scored the most failures, with Senegal the hands-down winner in number of failed samples.

Quality problems appear to originate at the source, say USP analysts.

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