Affordable medicines is a major priority in many countries in Africa and Asia. The newest and most effective anti-malaria drugs are now available to more people in Ghana – thanks to a subsidy.
The price of Artemisinin Combination Therapies drugs (ACTs) have been cut by eighty percent. This means that three times as many people in the country can now afford these drugs.
But this is only a pilot scheme by the Global Fund and runs out soon if no more funds can be found.
In the fight against malaria, ACTs stand out. They have proved to be fast and effective.
In Africa, most drugs sold are treatments for malaria. The problem is that most people cannot afford the newer, better ACTs.
We filmed at a chemist in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, where they have become used to seeing people come… and go.
ACTs are relatively expensive – about ten dollars – a week’s pay for many Africans.
But in eight malaria-endemic countries, including Ghana, subsidised ACTs are now on sale.
Financial support from the Global Fund, a public-private partnership which finances programmes to tackle the world’s most serious diseases, has cut the price of ACTs by about eighty percent.
We filmed at a clinic in Accra, where about three times as many people are now seeking treatment for malaria because they know they can afford the drugs.
And sales in pharmacies have also increased. But it is only a pilot scheme. The Global Fund subsidy could be rolled out to other countries, or withdrawn completely.
It all depends on the success of this project and whether more funds are available.