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Malaria Treatment Market Overview
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), malaria is defined as an infectious life-threatening disease that affected over 200 million people in 2018, across the globe. It is caused by a microscopic parasite, Plasmodium, which is transmitted to people by mosquitos. There are four different species of Plasmodium that cause malaria; however, Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for causing the deadly cases.
The commonly occurring symptoms in patients with malaria include headache, fever, vomiting, and shivering, while the serious cases develop symptoms, such as severe anaemia, shortness of breath, organ failure, and problems associated with the nervous system. Various diagnostics, such as thick and thin blood smears, rapid antigen test, molecular test, antibody test, and susceptibility test, can be performed to identify the occurrence of disease and to monitor for relapse.
According to the November 2019 article by American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), majority of the malaria infections and malaria mortality occur in the African region. Apart from this, cases have also been reported in Central and South America, parts of the Caribbean, Asia (including South Asia, and Southeast Asia), Eastern Europe, South Pacific, and Middle East. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013 reported about 198 million cases and 584,000 deaths from malaria worldwide, primarily among African children.
The treatment of malaria is dependent on the type of Plasmodium causing the infection and the geographical area in which the infection was acquired. Moreover, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children require special consideration. Chloroquine is often used to treat malaria patients; however, other medications are also administered in cases of chloroquine-resistant infection.
The currently available anti-malarial drugs fall into three broad categories: aryl aminoalcohol compounds (quinine, quinidine, chloroquine, amodiaquine, mefloquine, halofantrine, lumefantrine, piperaquine, and tafenoquine); antifolate compounds (pyrimethamine, proguanil, chlorproguanil, and trimethoprim); and artemisinin compounds (artemisinin; dihydroartemisinin, artemether, and artesunate). These drugs cumulative generated around $1 billion revenue in 2019 which is expected to progress with a healthy growth rate in the coming years.
Malaria Treatment Market Dynamics
Some of the factors driving the malaria treatment market include widespread burden of malarial infection, incidence of other infections like COVID-19, initiatives taken by the government organizations in terms of investment and conducting awareness campaigns, cost-effectiveness of anti-malarial drugs, and rising healthcare expenditure.
In addition, the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection has also boosted the demand for anti-malarial medications, across the globe, supporting to the growth of malaria treatment market. For instance, on March 30, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), issued an emergency use authorization (EUA), allowing the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine products for the treatment of adolescent and adult patients with COVID-19 who have been hospitalized. However, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on April 1, 2020, warned about the shortage of these two products, stating that the medicines should be used sparingly to treat COVID-19 infection. Moreover, the agency also highlighted the serious adverse effects of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, if not used as prescribed.
After these authorization and positive treatment effect of hydroxychloroquine, the Government of India exported sufficient quantity of this drug to the U.S. In addition, in the country, three Gujarat-based companies have started production of the drug to be supplied to the U.S. Similarly, on March 23, 2020, Novartis AG donated up to 130 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to be evaluated for use against COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world. Moreover, Bayer AG on March 18, 2020, donated 3 million tablets of its chloroquine phosphate formulation, Resochin, that demonstrated potential in treating the coronavirus infection. Such types of government and companies’ initiatives are playing pivotal role in the growth the malaria treatment market.
Apart from these, cost-effectiveness has led to the increasing adoption of these drugs even in the low economic regions. The cost of the standard and effective drug, chloroquine, is about 10 U.S. cents per course of treatment for an adult. In addition, the artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) costs $2.4 per course of treatment. Owing to the low price, malarial drug is easily affordable and expected to witness fast adoption rate in the near future.
However, the worsening problems of resistance in many parts of the world and the limited number of anti-malarial medicines available have led to the increasing difficulties in developing antimalarial treatment policies, which hampers the growth of malaria treatment market. According to an article published by the Institute of Medicine (U.S.) Committee on the Economics of Antimalarial Drugs, the factors affecting the development of drug resistance include the parasite mutation rate, the degree of resistance conferred by the genetic change, drug concentration profile, pattern of drug use, and the proportion of all transmissible infection exposed to the drug.
Some of the market players operating in the malaria treatment market and offering anti-malarial drugs are Novartis AG, Bayer AG, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., and Mylan N.V.
Major countries taken into consideration for the malaria treatment market size analysis are the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Russia, the Netherlands, Japan, China, India, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., and South Africa.