[Issue Brief] Four years and counting

Slow scale-up of newer MDR-TB drugs covers less than 5% in need.
An estimated 580,000 people fell ill with multidrug-resistant (MDR) forms of tuberculosis (TB) in 2015, including 100,000 with rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB). Only 132,000 cases of MDR-TB were diagnosed, and only 125,000 people began MDR-TB treatment. An estimated 250,000 people died from MDR/RR-TB in 2015.
Conventional MDR-TB treatments last almost 24 months and are associated with severe side effects and poor outcomes. Two newer drugs – bedaquiline and delamanid – can help increase cure rates and reduce mortality, but scale-up is lagging for several reasons. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) estimates that less than 5% of people with MDR-TB who could have benefitted from these lifesaving newer medicines were treated with them in 2016.
This issue brief examines current opportunities to optimise MDR-TB treatment and to address the persistent access challenges that put treatment out of reach for people struggling to survive this deadly disease.
Page updated: 10 October 2017
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