How Sanofi slithered its way out of the neglected antivenom market
Snakebite is a neglected health issue which kills anywhere from 20,000 to 95,000 people globally each year. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that between 4,000 and 30,000 people die per year.
In 2010, Sanofi made the internal decision to stop production of Fav-Afrique, a highly effective and affordable antivenom. In January 2014, the last batch of Fav-Afrique was produced and very quickly sold out, leading to a shortage.
The expiry date – or the end of the shelf life – for the last batch of Fav-Afrique produced is June 2016.
The first batch of a replacement Fav-Afrique antivenom is not expected to be produced until the end of 2018 or early 2019 – two and a half to three years after the last Sanofi batch expires jeopardizing thousands of lives.