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DOH suspends dengue study pending evaluation

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 09:15 AM November 16, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DOH) has suspended the national program on the study of a regimen for the treatment of dengue, a mosquito-borne disease.

Called ActRx TriAct, the regimen is a multidrug combination of Artemether sublingual spray and Artesunate and Berberine tablets.

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Artemether and Artesunate are derivatives of Artemisium, which has been used for thousands of years in the Chinese medical treatment of malaria.

FILE PHOTO

FILE PHOTO

The suspension of the ActRx TriAct on Nov. 14 was made to allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate within 15 days the compliance of the study with established scientific and ethical standards, as well as the safety and efficacy of the preparation in the treatment of dengue, the DOH said in a statement.

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As one of the standing protocols, the evaluation and recommendations by the FDA shall guide the DOH in determining whether to continue or finally terminate the program,” it said.

6 hospitals

The DOH said the efficacy of the drug combination to treat dengue was studied through a multicenter prospective study in six DOH-retained hospitals—the San Lazaro Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center and Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital.

The treatment, according to an Inquirer article published last month, was discovered by Preferred and Proven Therapies Inc., a firm operating at the former Clark Air Base in Pampanga in collaboration with ActRx Foundation, an international humanitarian and medical research group based in North Palm Beach, Florida, United States.

The DOH has yet to formally announce the breakthrough. But Health Secretary Enrique Ona—who is on leave—had issued Department Order No. 2014-0161 calling for the “implementation of a national antidengue program utilizing ActRx TriAct for the treatment of dengue by the Philippine National Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care.”

Ona, in the Sept. 24 directive before he went on leave, said that “in line with its mandate to protect public health and guarantee public access to essential drugs, the DOH, in collaboration with the Philippine National Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care and the Department of Science and Technology, shall make available and integrate the ActRx TriAct treatment into the national health care program for dengue.”

He also called for the inclusion of ActRx TriAct in the Philippine National Drug Formulary, “subject to the review by the Formulary Executive Council in accordance with existing rules and regulations.”

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TAGS: ActRx TriAct, Artemether sublingual spray, Artesunate, Berberine tablets, dengue, Department of Health, DoH, Food and Drug Administration
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