* By Michael R. Reich and Ramesh Govindaraj, with assistance from John Norris, Christopher Mast, and Agnes Brinkmann.
This chapter provides an assessment of the global demand for praziquantel, and describes national distribution of the drug in several developing countries. The section on demand focuses on the striking gap between the high potential demand for the drug (as evidenced by the prevalence of schistosomiasis in developing countries), and its limited supply by the existing producers and formulators of the drug. The chapter also discusses the impact of praziquantel’s high cost on the operation of schistosomiasis control programmes. The section on distribution of the drug discusses: the role of international agencies and bilateral aid organizations in assisting national schistosomiasis control programmes; the role of the private market in ensuring the availability of the drug in developing countries; and the role and success of national schistosomiasis programmes (using the example of Mali) in making the drug available to people afflicted by the disease.