One of the pharmaceutical companies with research and development initiatives in Nigeria today is Geneith Pharmaceuticals. Incorporated in the year 2000 as a private limited liability company, the main business of the company is the distribution of drugs and pharmaceuticals. The company’s products, including Camosunate ACT Anti-Malaria, its flagship brand, are all NAFDAC – registered and currently sourced from various pharmaceutical companies overseas with GMP certification. Geneith’s impact and contributions have been confirmed with several awards such as Best Malaria Management Drug Award conferred on Camosunate by African Products Award 2002, and West African Best Malaria Award, also conferred on Camosunate by the West African Direct Marketing Award organisers in 2007. In this brief chat, the MD/CEO of Geneith Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Emmanuel Umenwa sheds more light on Geneith, Camosunate and World Malaria Day.
Can you tell us about Camosunate anti-malaria drug from Geneith?
Camosunate is just one of several other quality brands in our product portfolio. It comes in four age ranges: Camosunate Adult (above 14 years), Camosunate Junior (7-13 years), our flagship, Camosunate (1-6 years) and Camosunate (less than 1 year). This makes the product available across the whole family conforming with the WHO guideline for each of the components.
What special qualities distinguish Camosunate from the other anti-malaria drugs in the Nigerian market today?
Camosunate is an ACT containing Artesunate and Amodiaquine. This is a front line recommendation by WHO. Camosunate Adult and Junior come in tablets. The tablets are coated to mask the bitter taste of the Amodiaquine. This enhances overall compliance. The dose ranges for children and neonates are formulated in easily dissolvable granules. This confers on it a unique dissolution and absorption profile. The Paediatric preparations are also vanilla – flavoured. This suppresses the bitter after taste associated with quinine – based products. The children products are packaged in unit dose sachets. This eliminates storage and stability challenges. Degradation by hydrolysis is eliminated as there is no need to store water reconstituted products. Above all, the product is affordable.
The World Malaria Day is around the corner. In what way is Camosunate creating awareness on how we can fight malaria?
We are reaching out to the public via our customer data base and various social media. We are running a malaria awareness programme on all our social media platforms (Website, Facebook and Twitter). As a company committed to the well being of the populace, Geneith is providing information on malaria prevention using these media. For the week leading to this day, hospitals and pharmacies get special discount on all our anti-malaria products.
Does Camosunate have any side effects?
Like every drug, Camosunate has side effects, even though they are highly minimized and controlled and they are mostly transient and manageable. The most common side effect is the lethargic effect due to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This is usually taken care of by taking Camosunate with a sugar – rich medium, like glucose drink or starchy meals. Camosunate does not itch. This lethargic side effect is predominantly observed in adults. The adult doses are taken twice daily to further reduce the side effects.
Who should not take Camosunate?
Camosunate, as I mentioned earlier, is for the whole family and the safety margin is quite commendable. In a recent study carried out in Benin, Dr. U.U Uyagu and Professor Omagborale, both of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, confirmed the efficacy and safety of Camosunate. However, we still advice that patients consult their doctors in special circumstances such as pregnancy.
The national policy on malaria treatment stipulates Artesimisin combination therapy. Is Camosunate compliant with this stipulation?
Yes, Camosunate is an Artemisin Combining Therapy (ACT) anti-malaria drug containing Artesunate and Amodiaquine. This is a front line recommendation by World Health Organization (WHO).
There are reports of malaria parasite resistance to ACT drugs, with some people returning to chloroquine. How does this relate to Camosunate?
Camosunate has a unique advantage of having a relatively long life of above 30 days. This longer lasting effect provides for longer protection of Camosunate and as such leaves little room for relapse which usually leads to resistance.
Tell us about Geneith’s CSR initiatives with Camosunate?
Corporate Social Responsibly (CSR) is one policy very dear to our heart at Geneith Pharmaceuticals. We have periodically identified with the hopes and aspirations of several medical associations with generous donations of our Camosunate anti-malaria products. We have sponsored educational activities and created awareness in our immediate environment. We provide support for annual inter-house sports activities in secondary and primary schools in our immediate environment. Researches for public benefits have also been sponsored by our company.
What other OTC or ethical drugs are marketed by Geneith?
In our product portfolio are several high quality products spanning various genres of drugs, including but not limited to antibiotics (Nosclav ranges), (Amodiaquine/clavulanic acid), including the children friendly Nosclav DT, Pulmocef (Ceftriaxone), Anti-malaria (Camosunate, Coatal, Gilanox), Analgesics (Tramed caps and injection), Tribact cream, Irondex, among other products.
Ebola Virus is ravaging the West African countries for the past one month. Is Geneith concerned?
As a responsible corporate organization, we are concerned about this current challenges of Ebola virus. Even though we have no antiviral products per say, but by interactions with our customers, we preach proper hygiene which limits person to person transmission.
NB: First published April 2014