May 28, 2023

Grace Edema

Medical experts have dismissed a viral false claim on an anti-malaria drug, ‘P-Alaxin’, as a cause of kidney disease.

The experts, including Prof. Arinola Joda of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy, Lagos University Teaching Hospital; immediate past president, Association of Resident Doctors, LUTH, Dr. Samuel Okerinde; Chief Medical Director, Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Bowale Abimbola, and Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Lagos State, Mr Lawrence Ekhator, who all spoke at a programme organised by Greenlife Pharmaceuticals Limited, noted that the false alarm was targeted at demarketing the product and should be ignored in its entirety.

Joda said that P-Alaxin was a good anti-malaria drug, known for convenient dosing, adding that “users don’t come down with malaria quickly after using it because it gives post-treatment benefit up to over 60 days, and it is very affordable for the end users.

“The information being spread about the product causing kidney disease is false and erroneous, people should discard the false information whenever they get it.

“In any instance of the adverse effect that people may experience with any pharma product, they should endeavour to approach the pharmacovigilance unit of NAFDAC to report, so that legitimate claim can be analysed.”

Ekhator stressed that P-Alaxin had been approved by NAFDAC for malaria treatment in Nigeria.

Speaking on the danger of fake news in the pharmaceutical industry, Marketing Manager, Greenlife Pharmaceutical Limited, Dr. Wilfred Okolie, noted that the P-Alaxin hoax was first released in 2019 with a text message from an unknown and faceless source aiming to discredit the drug.

He, however, noted that P-Alaxin was a synergistic fixed-dose combination of an artemisinin derivative, dihydroartemisinin and a bisquinoline compound, Piperaquine Phosphate for the treatment of uncomplicated plasmodium falciparum malaria in adults, children, and infants of six months and above either weighing 5kg or more.

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