Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Tuberculosis Free India Campaign for implementation of a national strategic design to eliminate TB. Now, around 90 health activists, patient groups have appealed Prime Minister to make drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) drugs affordable. It came just a day after the campaign.
As per the report, tuberculosis is declining across the world but many people still suffering from DR-TB every year and it is increasing gradually. This DR-TB comes with serious health challenges. The report shows 1, 30,000 multidrug resistance TB patients come fourth annually in India only.
Various hospitals, people staying in HIV and the TB community in India and people who are suffering from DR-TB wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister and requested to provide a legal permit for production of two new TB drugs locally. Currently, the nation depends on Johnson and Johnson, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Otsuka who donate to the TB program.
The names of the two drugs are Bedaquiline and delamanid. The patents of the drugs are protected in India till 2023. It may be noted that In the year 2015 Bedaquiline and Delamanid adult formulations have been added to the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML) and in 2017 Delamanid summed up to the list for children.
The joint letter stated that, for a six-month course of Bedaquiline, the cost would be around $900 and more. On the other side, Otsuka, the Japanese pharmaceutical corporation bills around $ 1700 to provide a six-month Delamanid course. So, if the government allows developing the generic version of patented medicines that will reduce the cost by 95 percent.
The process of registration with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) can take much time around three years. So, they urged government intervention and support to it to speed up the registration process. These two new drugs can help to prevent further infections, resistance and reduce the death rate.