On the 3 July 2017 the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that one preparation of the anti-malarial drug Atovaquone/Proguanil, sold under the brand name of Maloff Protect, will soon be available to purchase over the counter (OTC) from a pharmacy, without a prescription. Following discussion with a pharmacist:
- The tablets will be available to adults aged over 18, weighing more than 40kg, travelling to areas malarious areas where the drug is effective.
- The maximum duration of travel for which Maloff Protect can be supplied without prescription is 12 weeks (93 tablets).
If you do not fall into one of these categories, for example children and those travelling for extended stays (>3 months), then you still require Atovaquone/Proguanil to be prescribed by a qualified prescriber, before it can be dispensed.
Malaria prophylaxis is just one element of pre-travel preparation and it is important that you obtain a full travel consultation and individual risk assessment prior to ttravelling. If a pharmacy is unable to provide this, they should direct you to where you can receive such advice.
A link to the press release can be found here