ICMR ties up with Sun Pharma to fight malaria

The project shall be launched first in Mandla, one of the most malaria endemic districts of Madhya Pradesh. Sun Pharma will fund as well as execute this programme over a span of three to five years, covering over 2,00,000 households in Mandla.
India’s largest pharmaceutical company Sun Pharmaceuticals on Monday entered into a public private partnership (PPP) with the Union and Madhya Pradesh Governments for a campaign to ensure a malaria-free India.
In this partnership, the three stakeholders will establish a phased malaria eradication project for most endemic districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Moreover, the company and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) may enter a joint drug development programme to manufacture new patented drugs. ICMR comes under the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
  • The other stakeholder in the partnership is the Madhya Pradesh government
  •  Mandla district in the state to be targeted first
  •  Sun Pharma may also enter a joint drug development programme to manufacture new patented drugs
  •  Aim of the PPP is to completely eradicate malaria in three to five years
“We are very open to such drug development. It would not be restricted to malaria-specific drugs. Most companies in India are not developing any new drugs. Sun Pharma can use our strengths (like clinical data) and we can use their manufacturing capability to develop new drugs,” said Soumya Swaminathan, director general, ICMR.
The first district in Madhya Pradesh to be targeted through this PPP would be Mandla, where 57 per cent of the population belong to Scheduled Tribes. The aim is to eradicate malaria in three to five years. Mandla district has a population of around one million and has over 12,000 villages.
“The idea to start from one district is to understand what the problems are. Gaining knowledge from the experience, we would use it to roll out a larger programme once this project is successful,” said Dilip Sanghvi, managing director, Sun Pharmaceuticals.
One part of this PPP would be the malaria elimination in Mandla, while the other would be to prevent its re-introduction in the district later. For that, the company would publicly share data that it gathers from the district.
The stakeholders will jointly undertake the eradication programme by setting up management and technical oversight for disease surveillance and elimination.