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 charitable 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. This article proposes a model antisnake venom (ASV) production unit and shows the likely economics and return based on the production of various volumes of ASV. It estimates the costs for the key components of the unit, which are production equipment and staffing. A profit and loss account and balance sheet are constructed for the unit, and the effects of ASV volume and neutralizing titres are demonstrated. It is our contention that ASV production can be sustained at affordable prices in the developing world. We recommend that any solution to the ASV shortage must take into account the most cost efficient method(s) of production.
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Vol. 20 • No. 2