Revolutionary sleeping sickness tablet approved for use in DRC

Revolutionary sleeping sickness tablet approved for use in DRC

“I’ve treated more than 3,000 patients since 2006,” said Dr Wilfried Mutombo, DNDi project coordinator for sleeping sickness. “If I had had fexinidazole at that time, I would have not had to hospitalise all of them and I would have had fewer relapses.”

“Most other infectious diseases are treated at a pharmacy. I hope that this will now happen for sleeping sickness.”

The drug has been approved in the DRC through an innovative regulatory mechanism to fast-track the approval of new medicines outside the European Union. A similar submission is expected from Uganda later this year. 

Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft, director of neglected tropical diseases at DNDi, said the swift approval since the European Medicines Agency decision in November was significant. 

“We look forward to the implementation of fexinidazole as a first-line treatment and welcome this rapid approval of fexinidazole in the DRC,” she said. “[It is] a testament to the dedication of the DRC Government through the Ministry of Health to eliminate [sleeping sickness] as a public health problem by 2020.” 

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