January 27, 2009 / 6:48 AM / in 10 years

Novartis launches malaria drug formulation for kids

ZURICH, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis NOVN.VX is launching a new formulation of its anti-malaria drug, Coartem, that disperses in water for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in infants and children.

Novartis said on Tuesday it would provide the new formulation free of charge in collaboration with non-profit organisation Medicines for Malaria.

Many parents crush bitter-tasting antimalarial tablets for their children to swallow. The new sweet-tasting Coartem tablets disperse quickly in small amounts of water, making it easier to give to children and ensuring effective dosing, Novartis said. (Reporting by Jason Rhodes, editing by Dan Lalor)

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