Maloff Protect has been reclassified as a Pharmacy-only medicine, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced.
The tablets, which contain two antimalarial agents, atovaquone and proguanil, will be available to adults aged over 18 years who weigh more than 40kg and are travelling to malaria risk areas where the malaria parasite is not resistant to the ingredients in Maloff Protect.
Dr Sarah Branch, MHRA’s deputy director of vigilance and risk management of medicines, said: “Making more preventative medicines more readily available along with additional healthcare advice for travellers is an important step forward.”
Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Martin Astbury added: “This is great news for both pharmacist and travellers. It means people travelling abroad can access the medicine at their convenience and without a prescription from their GP, which would undoubtedly result in better access to protection from malaria. Pharmacists already offer a full range of travel advice and in some cases vaccinations.
“Malaria prevention is a well-established area of expertise for pharmacists and a great opportunity to provide full travel advice to people travelling anywhere in the world. Pharmacists have access to up-to-date information and resources and are very well equipped to provide this medicine safely and appropriately.”
The RPS will be publishing professional guidance on this topic.
Senior marketing manager for Maloff Protect, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ Toby Stoddart, commented: “We are delighted that pharmacists will now be able to provide their customers with a quick and convenient way to acquire essential antimalarial medication before they travel. The reclassification of Maloff Protect offers pharmacists an excellent opportunity to build on their current travel health offerings, and we are committed to supporting them in this venture.
“We have developed a series of online training modules to coincide with the arrival of Maloff Protect on pharmacy shelves and we are excited to share them with pharmacists nationwide.”