Supply of DEC for Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination

Facilitating the elimination of lymphatic filariasis with the manufacture and supply of diethycarbamazine (“DEC”).
Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals 1
  • To eliminate lymphatic filariasis.

What are the health needs and challenges?

Lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease that is transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite. Once transmitted, it causes lymphatic dysfunction that leads to other serious physical disabilities such as elephantiasis. Currently, the disease still affects an estimated 120 million people in 73 countries worldwide, mostly in developing and emerging nations in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Lymphatic filariasis can be treated with a combination of two anti-parasitic agents including diethycarbamazine (“DEC”). Large-scale interventions in which all inhabitants of endemic areas are administered DEC once a year for at least five years is effective in eliminating the disease. As of February 2019, Eisai has delivered 1.6 billion tablets for 28 countries.

Partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The current insufficient supply of DEC has hindered global elimination efforts. As a global pharmaceutical company committed to improving health of all individuals worldwide, Eisai has decided to manufacture and supply DEC free of charge to WHO, facilitating achievement of the 2020 elimination target. Eisai will provide the WHO tablets of DEC in accordance with WHO’s high quality standards until lymphatic filariasis is eliminated. Production of the medicine is conducted at Eisai’s Vizag Plant in India.

Eisai developed the formulation and conducted bioequivalence studies before submitting its application to WHO for prequalification in October 2012. After a relatively smooth evaluation process, Eisai was able to receive prequalification for the DEC tablets less than 10 months from submission of the application. The prequalification was a crucial milestone that will see Eisai deliver “Eisai-original,” high-quality DEC tablets to 250 million people living in at-risk communities in countries where lymphatic filariasis is endemic, thereby contributing to successful elimination of the disease.

Together with supplying DEC tablets to WHO, Eisai has assigned internal “DEC Project Managers” who are responsible for planning and execution of lymphatic filariasis elimination activities. The majority of staff appointed as DEC Project Managers are from Eisai subsidiaries in lymphatic filariasis endemic countries throughout Asia, and they discuss with government officials in charge of lymphatic filariasis as well as other relevant stakeholders in other regions what way can we contribute to the early realization of elimination from a local perspective.

Geographic Reach
  • Africa
  • Americas
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • South-East Asia
  • Western Pacific
See Where
Disease Area
  • Infectious and Parasitic Disease
See Disease Areas
Target Population
  • Children
  • Elderly
  • Youth
  • Women
  • Men
  • People with low incomes
Partner organizations
Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals

World Health Organization (WHO)