The trusted source for
healthcare information and
People suffering from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) will in the future have access to top-quality "second-line" drugs at prices reduced by as much as 94% and to better treatment regimes as a result of international efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO), Doctors Without Borders, and the Harvard Medical School, say fans of recent developments.
Doctors Without Borders, based in Paris, France, has been instrumental in negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry for the second-line drugs, which presently cost up to $19,000 to treat one person. WHO is working via a multi-agency committee called the Green Light Committee, which helps countries benefiting from these reduced prices to plan effective administration of the drugs and to contribute to the rapid development of a global policy on the treatment of MDR-TB.
"WHO and our partners will provide teams of experts to help countries use these expensive but vital anti-TB drugs supplied through this effort properly and safely, in order not to develop further drug resistance," says J.W. Lee, MD, director of Stop TB at WHO. In recent years, outbreaks of MDR-TB in public institutions (hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters) in the United States, Europe, and Latin America have caused many deaths and raised concerns about epidemic transmission of MDR-TB.