The Business of Malaria

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Despite recent progress, the Democratic Republic of Congo remains the second most malaria-affected country in the world, with upwards of 10 million cases reported each year. Population Services International (PSI) and its partner network member Association de Santé Familiale (ASF) want to ensure that all Congolese have access to better diagnostics and care by creating a thriving business for treating malaria.

“We are making the market smart,” says deputy project director Katie MacDonald. “This is a systems-level change.”

The drugs commonly used to treat malaria in Congo aren’t artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), the best medication for malaria. And people with fever using ACTs without testing may not have malaria and should be treated for something else all together. To reverse these trends, PSI/ ASF, with support from DfID, are creating a market for quality ACTs. Medications are pre-qualified by the WHO and marketed with a stylized Greenleaf logo. The product line is subsidized so drug manufacturers, importers and pharmacists have incentives to drive its use.

ASF generates demand for the brand with TV ads, billboards, radio spots and door-to-door promotion, and advocates to allow malaria testing in private pharmacies and for lower duties on ACTs to ensure that low prices outlive subsidies. To transform the market and give consumers access to quality medication, all market players must make the supply chain work. Here’s a look at who those players are and why they believe the effort will succeed.

Source: PSI Impact (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
public health