February 10, 2016
Eisai commenced the free provision of its in-house manufactured diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) 100 mg tablets, a treatment for lymphatic filariasis (LF), to the World Health Organization (WHO) in October 2013.
Together with supplying DEC tablets to WHO, Eisai has assigned internal “DEC Project Managers” who are responsible for planning and execution of LF elimination activities. The majority of staff appointed as DEC Project Managers are from Eisai subsidiaries in LF endemic countries throughout Asia, and they discuss with government officials in charge of LF as well as other relevant stakeholders in other regions what way can we contribute to the early realization of elimination from a local perspective.
Setting out toward achieving LF elimination nationwide, Indonesia has declared every October starting from October 2015 to be LF elimination month (BELKAGA: Bulan ELiminasi KAki GAjah), where the government has decided to raise awareness of the disease and conduct mass drug administration (MDA) in endemic regions throughout the country. Staff from PT Eisai Indonesia, Eisai's subsidiary in Indonesia, have kept in communication with the local stakeholders from the planning stage, and co-operated with preparation for both drug supply and the commemorative event for BELKAGA. You can learn about the BELKAGA commemorative event from a field report written by our local staff who participated in the event, as well as about the provision of 150 million DEC tablets required for MDA during BELKAGA in Indonesia from this news release.
Originally, the Ministry of Health in Indonesia planned to purchase locally available medicine for use in MDA. The DEC Project Manager in Indonesia participated in the discussions with the officials and other stakeholders in charge of LF elimination, and after learning that supplying the required amount of high quality DEC tablets would lead to elimination sooner, proposed the supply of DEC tablets through WHO. As a result of the discussions, the stable supply of a large volume of high quality medicine was made possible through the use of Eisai's DEC tablets, ultimately leading to the commencement of national MDA under BELKAGA.
Eisai intends to continue contributing to the early elimination of the disease through the ongoing free provision of DEC tablets as well as the activities of the DEC Project Managers toward the global goal of eliminating LF by 2020.