Four-year-old Cheptete Lochariang’olei was bitten by a puff adder at 9 in the morning while playing outside their home in Nadome.
Research article |

Toxicon: X: Access to antivenoms in the developing world: A multidisciplinary analysis

Photograph by Paul Odongo
Four-year-old Cheptete Lochariang’olei was bitten by a puff adder at 9 in the morning while playing outside their home in Nadome.

In this review article published in the journal Toxicon: X, MSF and other authors discuss the multiple access barriers to safe, effective, quality-assured antivenom products tailored to venomous snake species. Such access is a crucial component of efforts to reduce the global burden of snakebite envenoming. This review describes the antivenom ecosystem at different levels and identifies solutions to overcome these access challenges.

The global antivenom market is fragmented into multiple submarkets of region-specific products, leaving many needs unmet. Weaknesses in national regulatory capacity and some manufacturing processes lead to procurement of substandard antivenoms. Prompt access to antivenom in rural settings is challenging due to lack of transportation. Scarcity of adequately resourced facilities with experienced staff to administer antivenom is another access barrier. Fully-financed regional antivenom stockpiles have the potential to significantly improve access.