Pharmacists in Lagos State, under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have unanimously endorsed Amatem-Softgel, a brand of artemether-lumefantrine combination, marketed by Elbe Pharmaceutical, as an effective and patient compliant medicine.
The special recognition of the brand by the pharmacists was a major activity during the official opening ceremony of the 2019 Lagos PSN Scientific Week, as the drug experts took turn to speak on the efficacy of the medicine and urged other manufacturers to follow the Elbe’s innovative example for better patients outcomes
Speaking on the reason for the endorsement, the Chairman, Lagos State PSN, Pharm. (Mrs) Bolanle Adeniran, explained that as custodians of drugs, it is part of their obligations to monitor adverse drug reactions and the degree of patients’ acceptance of a drug, both of which they have evaluated and Amatem-Softgel was not found wanting in any.
She further noted that Elbe as a Pharmaceutical company has been on the forefront of fighting malaria in Nigeria through her innovative brand of antimalarial- Amatem-Softgel, and the company has been a major partner of the 2019 Lagos PSN Scientific Week.
The PSN Chairman also asserted that with Lagos having the highest number of pharmacists in Nigeria, their seal of approval means so much for Elbe and their unique brand of antimalarial.
Her words: “Although the brand got the support of community pharmacists during the annual national conference of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) in Kano, it was imperative to get the approval of the ‘Eko’ pharmacists, because the company knows that we have the number and stand for the best, so we decided to give our absolute recognition to the brand. Congratulations to Elbe for the special endorsement”.
Presenting the findings of a comparative study conducted on the bioavailability, efficacy and toxicity of Amatem-Softgel and another known brand of artemeter–lumefantrine tablet formulation, by a group of researchers from LASUTH, Dr Mutiu Bamidele, of the Parasitology and Microbiology Department of LASUTH, noted that Amatem-Softgel was found to be more present in the blood stream than other brands of malaria tablets.
According to him: “It is expected that most of the drugs we take get to the blood stream that is what we call bioavailability. What we found out from the bioavailability study is that Amatem-Softgel is more present in the bloodstream than the tablets. The implication is that Amatem-Softgel can quickly attack malaria parasite in the bloodstream, than tablets”.
Pharm. (Mrs) Modupe Oyawole, deputy director, Pharmacy Department, LASUTH, also expressed her delight with the brand saying “I have known Elbe as a pharmaceutical company for a while, and for those of us in the hospital, Elbe is synonymous with quality products, so we know that any product they come out with is of good quality.
“For Amatem-Softgel, we use it in my institution a lot, especially in the O&G unit, we use it for patients in the third trimester and it has been very effective. I know that Amatem-Softgel will go places, because it’s a product I am confident to talk about, anytime, any day”, she said.
Pharm. Ismail Sumonu, publicity secretary, Lagos PSN, also attested to the quality of the brand. “Basically, before the Lagos State branch of the PSN will go all out in endorsing a product, we must have been aware of the efforts the company have made in improving the brand and the quality of their products.
“Considering the fact that artemether – lumefantrine combination generally has a bitter taste, one of the unique selling point of Amatem-Softgel is that it comes in a gelatin capsule, which masks the taste and odour of the combination.
“Also in treating malaria, you realise that one of the challenges is vomiting, and for most patients, the odour of the drug triggers vomiting. But where you can mask taste and odour, you make the drug more acceptable by patients. So when we consider all of these, we realise it’s a major advantage over other brands of artemether-lumefantrine in the market.
“So PSN Lagos, is coming all out to say, this is a brand to identify with, this is a brand to endorse, in addition to Elbe’s Corporate Social Responsibility to the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria”, he emphasised.
Captain (Pharm.) Haruna Ajiya Mbaya also joined in the quality chorus of Amatem-Softgel, noting that the endorsement is all about getting better patients outcomes. “Elbe has been into pharmaceutical business for over 30 years, and they have various lines of pharmaceutical products. Basically, they started with Amatem Forte, now Amatem-Softgel, where those after taste of drug are being eradicated, with high rate of absorption.
“Patient complaint is improved, and adherence is also improved. Rate of activity also increased, as when a patient takes his drug, it goes to the target site, and then it will elicits pharmacological response. I think it is a very good development.
“The endorsement here is not a new one, because the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) just endorsed Elbe in their national conference in Kano last month. Pharmacists in Lagos are just joining their voices to say it is a good products for all to use.
“Actually, it is all about the patients, and since it’s all about patients, we want good outcomes for our patients. Who does not want good thing? Since it’s a good product, then let everybody support the Amatem-Softgel”, he urged.
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