Merck Serono donates 100 millionth schistosomiasis tablet

Pharmaceutical Company Product News

Merck Serono has made its 100 millionth praziquantel tablet donation to the World Health Organization (WHO), marking a key milestone in its efforts to combat the devastating tropical disease schistosomiasis.

At a special event in Nairobi, the company presented the WHO with the latest batch of the medicine, which is soon set to be distributed across Kenya in order to aid the more than 11 million patients who require therapy.

The pharmaceutical company has been supporting the WHO in fighting schistosomiasis for five years, during which time 28 million children have been treated across 11 African nations.

It is hoping to increase its annual contribution of tablets from 25 million to 250 million over the coming years to help tackle the flatworm-transmitted condition, which is the second-most prevalent tropical disease in Africa after malaria.

Stefan Oschmann, chief executive officer of Merck Serono, said: "We are only at the beginning of a long journey that will not end until this insidious disease has been eliminated."

This comes after the firm was listed in eighth place in the 2012 Access to Medicines Index published last week, an improvement from its previous rank of 17th.

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