Antisnake Venom Production Crisis—Who Told Us It Was Uneconomic and Unsustainable?The world of antisnake venom production is currently a gloomy place to visit. It is described as being in crisis, characterized by shortages, producers leaving the market, high prices, and unsustainability. It has been reduced to a pauper-like status, doomed to relying on chari\ handouts for resolution. The worrying aspect of this is that little work has been done to establish the true economics and return on antisnake venom if provided by private companies. Fortunately, it is amenable to economic analysis, and in this manner, a rational approach to further development and distribution can be obtained.
The Global Snakebite Crisis—A Public Health Issue Misunderstood, Not NeglectedThe global problem of venomous snakebite continues to attract attention despite it being described as a “neglected” issue. The current focus of the World Health Organization (WHO) remains anti– snake venom quality, although “availability and sustainability” of supply are consistently described as the key issues. Sustainability of antivenom supply has been elusive, with cost and pricing in developing countries being cited as the major reasons. The current WHO approach fails to explore the cost issue, but rather focuses on quality improvements, which may well adversely affect the costs of a product already perceived to be ‘unaffordable.’ The reference to cost and price indicates a marketing-based perspective may well give more relevant solutions to the snakebite crisis.
Time for an Alternative Perspective: The Eternal Problem of Supply and Quality of Anti Snake Venom in the Developing World—“It's the Economy, Stupid”The “crisis in anti snake venom supply” has been an enduring problem. Despite the frequency with which it appears in the literature, it remains unquantified and an enigma. If there is a serious shortage of anti snake venom (ASV), why has this not been resolved? Anti snake venoms are produced, and yet many suppliers are described as leaving the market. There appears to be a problem in the call for highly effective, high-quality, and cheap anti venoms that contributes to this result of suppliers leaving the market.
The “Worldwide Shortage” of Antisnake Venom: Is the Only Right Answer “Produce More” Or Is It Also “Use It Smarter?”A frequent tenet of snakebite literature is what has been described as the “worldwide shortage of antisnake venom” (ASV) and the demand for greater production. Antisnake venom is the mainstay of snakebite management, and thus this principle of “shortage” can impact the view of policy makers when it comes to framing solutions to the problem. This paper presents a model to enable policy makers to assess the amount and utilization of ASV in their areas. The model assesses ASV usage according to 2 criteria: risk and wastage.