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Snake Bites Take Big Global Toll, Especially Among the Poor

Posted 30 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, OCT. 30, 2015 – Snake bites kill thousands of people worldwide each year due to limited availability of antivenom, an expert says. Antivenom maker Sanofi-Pasteur announced earlier this year that it could no longer produce the treatment for snake bites, said David Williams, head of the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne. But the loss of Sanofi's antivenom will mean little "for the vast majority of Africa's snake bite victims," he wrote in this week's BMJ. "For decades there have been chronic gaps in antivenom supply globally that have cumulatively cost millions of lives, maimed millions more, and contributed to the burden of poverty, and disenfranchisement that lingers heavily over many nations," Williams noted. Sanofi's antivenom has not been available to many vulnerable people, because it was too expensive and not produced in sufficient quantities, ... Read more

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