Requesting donated medicines to treat epilepsy‐associated tapeworm infection


A contemporary settlement between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the German pharmaceutical corporate Bayer guarantees hope of increasing get entry to to very important medicines for the remedy of folks uncovered to or inflamed via the red meat tapeworm Taenia solium.

Infection with the parasite T. solium is estimated to purpose 30% of all epilepsy circumstances in nations the place it’s endemic, affecting most commonly the poorest folks and probably the most marginalized communities.

Donated praziquantel and niclosamide as a part of expanded collaboration

In a five-year settlement1 signed remaining yr, Bayer agreed to improve WHO’s international programme in preventing taeniasis and neurocysticercosis via donated praziquantel and niclosamide and to supply investment to maintain regulate and prevention

For greater than 15 years, Bayer has donated medicines to WHO to improve the regulate of human African trypanosomiasis and Chagas illness. This newest collaboration for the regulate and remedy of T. solium infection is opportune as WHO prepares
to release its new highway map for disregarded tropical illnesses for 2021–2030. 

How to request the medicines

Both praziquantel and niclosamide at the moment are to be had via WHO.

To request a donation, a collection of bureaucracy will have to be finished to facilitate utility, overview and reporting. These also are anticipated to reinforce coordination and integration amongst other programmes. The 3 bureaucracy are:

  • Request for decided on PC medicines (RSM) ­– to help nations in quantifying the selection of drugs of the related medicines required to succeed in the deliberate goal inhabitants and districts all the way through the yr for
    which medicines are asked.
  • Reporting shape (RF) – to help nations in reporting annual development on built-in and coordinated distribution of medicines throughout illnesses within the reporting yr in a standardized structure.
  • PC epidemiological knowledge reporting shape (EPIRF) – to standardize nationwide reporting of epidemiological knowledge on taeniasis/cysticercosis. National government are inspired to whole this kind and post it to WHO each
    yr, along with the RF.

All donations are topic to overview and/or availability of medicines. In addition, use of donated medicines should be adequately reported to WHO upon finishing touch of remedy actions.


The experiences generated within the RSM and within the RF (SUMMARY worksheets) should be revealed and signed via the NTD coordinator or a Ministry of Health consultant to officially endorse the rustic’s request for those medicines and the reported annual development
of the nationwide programme(s). The date of signature should even be incorporated.

Once signatures were acquired, the scanned copies of the 2 worksheets, along with the overall Excel variations of the RSM, the RF and the EPIRF, may also be collectively submitted to WHO. All 3 duly finished bureaucracy will have to be submitted to the WHO Country
place of job and copies emailed to:

The bureaucracy will have to even be copied to the NTD point of interest within the respective WHO Regional Office.

The turnaround time (from submission of bureaucracy to WHO nation place of job to the supply of the preventive chemotherapy medicines to the nationwide warehouse of the respective nations) would possibly absorb to 6–eight months. This lead time is needed for overview
and approval of the request that incorporates order placement, manufacturing of medication and cargo.

Data reporting and assortment at neighborhood and district ranges

Recording and accumulating dependable data on the usage of medicines (i.e. protection) at peripheral and district ranges and compiling such data on the nationwide degree is very important for finishing touch of the RF.

Breaking the cycle of transmission

Efforts to regulate neurocysticercosis are basically aimed toward breaking the cycle of energetic transmission of the parasite. An necessary part of this technique is treating sufferers who harbour the T. solium tapeworm. This is completed via
huge‐scale remedy (often referred to as preventive chemotherapy) of eligible populations. The best medicines at a unmarried dose are praziquantel or niclosamide. 

Over the previous few years, many endemic nations suffering from cysticercosis have asked WHO to facilitate get entry to to high quality‐confident medicines. The present settlement, beneath the umbrella of common well being protection, permits Bayer to donate praziquantel
(“Biltricide”) and niclosamide (“Yomesan”) drugs.

The illness

Taeniasis is an intestinal infection brought about via 3 species of tapeworm: Taenia solium (red meat tapeworm), Taenia saginata (pork tapeworm) and Taenia asiatica. Humans can transform inflamed with T. saginata or T. asiatica after they devour inflamed pork meat or pig liver tissue, respectively, which has now not been adequately cooked, however taeniasis due to T. saginata or T. asiatica has no primary have an effect on on human well being.

Infection with the T. solium tapeworm happens when an individual eats uncooked or undercooked, inflamed red meat. People inflamed with T. solium can expand two distinct prerequisites: taeniasis and cysticercosis.

While the grownup tapeworm within the human gut (taeniasis) does now not have primary well being have an effect on, people can expand cysticercosis with tapeworm larvae (cysticerci) within the muscle mass, pores and skin and eyes. When cysts expand within the mind – a situation recognized
as neurocysticercosis – they are able to purpose serious headache, blindness, convulsions and epileptic seizures. The latter can be deadly.

Epilepsy is a public well being drawback in those endemic communities, the place the affiliation with neurocysticercosis may also be up to 70% in some spaces. In settings the place the illness is provide, epilepsy is hard to diagnose and treat.  It additionally reasons
primary stigmatization, in particular amongst women and girls (the place it’s often related to witchcraft).

1 Under the five-year settlement, Bayer will donate a complete of two.eight million drugs of niclosamide (400 mg) and 1.five million drugs of praziquantel (600 mg) to WHO for distribution to affected nations.


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