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Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2000 Apr; 6(2):127-129.In recognition of the fact that local communities afflicted by malaria typically use local herbal treatments (Bitahwa et al., 1997 Willcox, 1999)-either with or instead of conventional drugs-this type of new research thinking underpins the agenda of the newly formed Research Initiative for Traditional Antimalarial Methods (RITAM) (Bodeker & Willcox, 2000b). WHO is promoting new drug cocktails, many that are derived from single ingredients of plants, as the new way to combat drug-resistant malaria. The absurd situation has arisen in which synthetic synergism is being sought after it has been rejected in its natural state. The cost of antimalarial cocktails is estimated to be up to seven times that of the already-expensive existing antimalarials. Clearly, a local, sustainable, and affordable response to malaria is called for-one that recognizes that this is where the fight against malaria began and where it continues. (excerpt)
London, England, Earthscan, 1978 Aug. 70 p.This publication is the 1st overall description of the UN drug strategy, involving 5 UN agencies in an undeclared war on the drug companies over "drug colonialism". Tools the agencies are using include a basic drugs list; bulk buying; new patent laws; small-scale manufacturing; and traditional herbs. The ways in which the multinational drug companies work in developing countries is described in detail, in addition to various UN agency policies; results of actions taken by Sri Lanka, India, and other nations against the drug firms; and what industry thinks of the UN plans. Contents of the report include: 1) the Colombo Summit and UN strategy on cooperation among developing nations concerning pharmaceuticals; 2) the structure of the drug industry; high drug prices; drugs for tropical diseases; 3) a basic drugs list: WHO; national lists; industrial and professional resistance; high cost of drugs in Tanzania; industry criticism of essential drug lists; 4) generic versus brand names; 5) bulk purchasing: missions and UNICEF; a UN buying agency; Sri Lanka's experience; regional bulk buying; 6) producing drugs locally through foreign investment: Sri Lanka and India; 7) producing drugs locally through a controlled foreign sector: control of restrictive business practices and patents; 8) producing drugs locally through national self reliance: small-scale plants; barefoot pharmacists; 9) traditional herbs; 10) appropriate drug technologies: fear of the multinationals; quality control; regional drug centers; and 11) primary health care and political will.