Supermarket will become first in the UK to produce and sell its own malaria tablets, which it says will cost 50% less than at other pharmacies
Asda is the first UK supermarket to produce and sell its own-brand malaria tablets.
The tablets are on sale for £12 for 12 tablets at Asda pharmacies, which according to the supermarket is 50% less than the same drug costs at other pharmacies.
The drug – Atovaquone/Proguanil – was previously produced by GlaxoSmithKline but with the patent revoked last year it can now be produced on a wider scale, reducing the cost.
Asda’s malaria tablets can be bought without a prescription, although shoppers will be required to fill in a questionnaire first.
Atovaquone/Proguanil is just one anti-malarial drug available on the market. Others are cheaper, and may also be more suitable, depending on the destination and the individual taking the drug.
“It’s good that they are available for less but it’s important to check that you’re getting the right drug for the country you’re travelling to and that’s right for you,” said Graham Hewitt of knowmalaria, a company which provides software to help pharmacists decide which drug is most suitable for a customer.
In 2013 there were 1,501 cases of malaria in the UK, and seven deaths, according to Public Health England.