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CDC: Malaria drug discontinued, investigational drug available :

February 4, 2019

Severe malaria drug quinidine has been discontinued and will not be available beginning April 1, according to federal health officials.

After that time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will supply treating clinicians with intravenous artesunate.

Artesunate is recommended by the World Health Organization but has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The CDC currently makes the drug available in certain situations under investigational new drug protocol.

Clinicians can obtain artesunate after April 1 by calling the CDC’s malaria hotline at 770-488-7788 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern , or 770-488-7100 outside of those hours.

The CDC will send artesunate to a physician’s nearest major airport and will provide guidance on interim treatment while the drug is en route.

There are about 300 cases of severe malaria in the U.S. each year. The CDC said it expects the supply to be sufficient to cover those cases.

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