Just the treatment for Chagas disease

The lack of a drug, benznidazole, threatening efforts to fight against Chagas disease. This disease is endemic in many parts of Latin America, affecting about 15 million people each year, of which about 50,000 die. It is transmitted by the bite of an insect. The NGO Doctors without Borders (MSF) in fact has already suspended a program in Bolivia and Paraguay diagnose because it is useless if you can not treat.

The reason is that the drug manufacturing has shifted from a public laboratory Roche Brazil (Lafepe), which, in turn, has subcontracted to another, Nortech, production of the active ingredient. But so far all worked from the active ingredient supplied by Roche. When exhausted this, it is not to meet a demand which, moreover, is growing.

"It's an unacceptable situation. In our project in Boqueron, one of the highest prevalence of Chagas disease in Paraguay, we have been forced to suspend the diagnosis of patients because we have no medications to treat it," said Henry Rodriguez, coordinator MSF projects in Bolivia and Paraguay. "For decades, Chagas disease has been totally forgotten and now it finally was prioritizing the diagnosis and treatment of patients, we ran out of medication. We can not allow this situation to lengthen, we must find an urgent solution to our patients. " MSF denounced the situation last week in Congress for Tropical Medicine in Barcelona.

MSF has asked the Ministry of Health of Brazil to commit to accelerate the current production of benznidazole, streamlining validation with the active ingredient manufactured by Nortech. It has also asked to act the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO, the branch of the continent of WHO)

In Spain it is also recommended this product for Chagas disease, but there is a parasite that transmits it. Despite this there are 30,000 people infected, mostly immigrants from countries where the disease is endemic. There is another drug used, nifurtimox.