Nigeria’s Antivenom Emergency

A deadly shortage of antivenom drugs in Nigeria has left 250 dead from snakebites in the last 3 weeks, prompting health workers to call for a tighter supply chain.
 
The last supplies of Echitab Plus ICP polyvalent and Echitab G monovalent arrived in August.  The crisis is “embarrassing to explain” to patients, says snakebite treatment officer Abubakar Ballah.
 
The drugs, manufactured abroad, are reportedly being counterfeited and sold at a markup. To find ways to produce the drugs locally, the Ministry of Health has begun collaborating with the Echitab Study Group in a public-private partnership that also aims to subsidize costs.
 
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