The world of artemisia in 44 questions.
This paper, commissioned by the Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), aims to inform stakeholders of the most pressing questions surrounding Artemisia and ACT production. In addition to outlining their potential in treating malaria, this paper identifies numerous of issues and opportunities that need to be addressed in order for the production and distribution of ACT in sufficient quantity to become a reality in the near future. One of these obstacles is the slow and cumbersome implementation of the WHO's drug pre-qualification policy, which has resulted in a monopoly-like situation of only one pre-qualified ACT by just one pharmaceutical company. As a result, the retail price is far too high for the drug to be accessible to for the poor. In addition, growing Artemisia plants is risky and will not be profitable for long because of the synthetic production that is expected to begin in the near future. Small-scale farmers in tropical Africa are the ones being exposed to these risks by poorly informed policy makers and organisations that promote the plant's production. (excerpt)