05 December 2014 | Press releases

New vector control products urgently needed to combat insecticide resistance, Unitaid report warns

With a growing intensity and increasing geographical spread of insecticide resistance, UNITAID’s Malaria Vector Control Landscape [PDF, 1.4 MB] highlights the need to stimulate product innovation for new solutions to tackle issue of malaria-carrying mosquitos.

It suggests that this could be achieved through increased financing  for R&D for vector control products, given that the vector control market is not seen as an attractive commercial target by industry.  The report also indicates that further measures to accelerate acceptance and uptake of new products in the market may also be needed, particularly as new products are likely to be more expensive than existing intervention tools.

There has been some progress to bring to the market new classes of active ingredient that are effective against current forms of insecticide resistance.  However, there are still a limited number of such products available, and those that are available are more expensive on a per person basis than long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) or pyrethroid IRS (insecticide spraying) programmes. Funding the purchase of initial sales of new products could enable the generation of large-scale use data to demonstrate cost-effectiveness under field conditions which would encourage purchase by major donors; and the building up of production and batch scale to improve affordability of the new products.

The report also notes that donor purchases of LLINs in 2013 and 2014 have stabilized the overall number of nets in the market, but this level is still short of the target for universal coverage, even in the most severely affected region of Africa.

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