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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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Old 25 Aug 2012
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: On the road somewhere in Africa
Posts: 79
Buying Malarone in Southern/East Africa

We're on a South-North Africa trip (Eastern side), we're currently in Northern Namibia - we brought enough Doxy for 9 months for the two of us (we tried it out in UK and had no ill effects).
When we started taking it this time my wife had an allergic reaction (swelling of fingers followed by hands followed by arms...). At this point she stopped taking it, went to see a local doctor who was very knowledgeable and recommended she switch to Malarone along with other medication to bring the allergic reaction under control.
We bought 30 days of Malarone in a major Nam pharmacy to test it - all ok so far.

Now - Malarone is EXPENSIVE (I think we paid almost 1500N$ so approx £120 for 30 of them) - is it cheaper (in reliable pharmacies) in other African countries (I'm thinking Botswana, Zim, Malawi, Tanz, Kenya), or do we bite the bullet and buy her entire stock here and now in Namibia?
Anyone with any recent info out there please?

Thanks, Ian
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Old 25 Aug 2012
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,973
Malarone is not licensed for sale in most African countries. I don't keep up with which ones, but that's an important starting point for your consideration.

Another consideration: it is not cheap no matter where you go. It's tightly controlled by the manufacturer. Your price is about what I currently pay in the USA.

And one more: many medications are counterfeited or adulterated in Africa, and others are stored improperly or stale dated. I haven't heard of counterfeit Malarone, but I wouldn't be surprised.

My personal decision has been to buy when I'm confident of the supply chain and try not to think too much about the price. In the context of a long trip, saving a few bucks per pill is not going to make much difference anyway.

Best source of non-hysterical information on anti-malarials is a poster named nutraxfornerves on the Lonely Planet Thorntree health forum.

Hope that's helpful.

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Old 26 Aug 2012
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: On the road somewhere in Africa
Posts: 79
Thanks for the Lonely Planet lead - I've posted the same question there - it wasn't Malarone per-se that we got in Namibia, but their local trade variant (same thing though I understand).
We're wary of the supply chain issues you mentioned, we only buy in large major pharmacies and check dates etc before parting with cash, we bought all the original medical kit in UK, but this allergic reaction has changed all our planning.
We're currently near a major town with good pharmacies, so may do a job-lot purchase early next week before heading off into Botswana.
Thanks, Ian
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Old 30 Dec 2012
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Location: Winlock, WA
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Generally generic formulas of the pioneer drugs are much easier to counterfeit. Even if the cost of the pioneer drug is much higher I prefer to buy the pioneer drug, as the pioneer manufacturers are much more apt to monitor their labels.
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