DAR ES SALAAM, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- While having cheaper prices, the Chinese-made malaria drugs have the same effects with those made by the western companies, a Tanzanian pharmacist said on Tuesday.
Fayyaz Mohammedtaqi, chief of Pharmacy and Out Patient Services of Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam, said the hospital are now using two kind of Chinese-made malaria drugs -- Duo-Cotecxin made by Holley-Cotec and Artesun made by FosunPharma, both are Chinese companies.
"We have been using these two drugs for years, there's no complaints about them so far," he told Xinhua, "We have not seen any infection, we have not seen any failure of therapy."
Mohammedtaqi said, "We are using them to treat patients and the outcomes are good," adding that the Chinese-made drugs are as effective as those made by western companies, such as Coartem which is made by Novartis.
In the private sector in Tanzania, for one course of treatment, Duo-Cotecxin sells at a price of 12,000 to 14,000 Tanzanian shillings (7.5 to 8.75 U.S. dollars) while Coartem sells at nearly 20,000 Tanzanian shillings (about 12.5 U.S. dollars).
As the biggest private hospital in Tanzania, Aga Khan Hospital gets malaria drugs through the channel of private sectors. Once a drug was registered at the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) , the regulator of drugs in the country, the private sector can get access to it.
"Because we're buying directly from the listed dealers, we have never faced the problem" of fake drugs, he said.
In the public sector, the only way Chinese-made malaria drugs can get into Tanzania is through Chinese government's medical aid, said Dr Sigsberi Mkude, head of the Malaria Diagnosis and Treatment division of National Malaria Control Program (NMCP).
"It seems for the public sector it's very difficult to have fake drugs," Mkude said.
According to NMCP, the Chinese government provided over 400,000 doses of injections and pills as anti-malaria medical aid to Tanzanian in 2012.