Retailers illegally over pricing malaria drug

By Leah Kahunde

Government sets up a committee to monitor and regulate the price of Coartem, a malarial drug in the market. 

Coartem, a first line anti-malarial drug is a combination of Artemether (an artemisinin derivative) and lumefantrine.

The ministry of health says a complete dose of coartem is supposed to retail at 3000 shillings, but there are outlets selling it for as much as 5000 shillings illegally.

Permanent secretary ministry of health Dr Diana Atwiine says some unscrupulous dealers are even going to the extent of illegally exporting Coartem to markets where it could fetch as much as 20000shs.

Dr Atwiine says all those found culpable will have their dealership agreement with the ministry to supply the drug revoked.

Uganda has the third highest number of malaria deaths and one of the highest malaria transmission rates in the world according to Health commodity advocacy group HEPS Uganda.
Overall, about 16 million cases and about 10,500 deaths are reported per year.