Issue brief |

DR-TB and TB-Prevention Drugs Under the Microscope, 7th Edition

Medicine pricing and patent issues for drug-resistant tuberculosis and tuberculosis prevention

""
Photograph by Siddharth Singh

Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s deadliest infectious disease, and drug-resistant (DR) TB is a global health emergency. WHO has estimated that only 1 in 3 people with DR-TB is started on treatment. In the face of poor cure rates and clear need to scale up DR-TB treatment in high-burden places, improvements in DR-TB management are finally at hand.  

But to achieve these improvements, the barriers to treatment scale-up must be addressed with haste, so that people with TB can benefit from these shorter, less toxic, more potent therapies. Access to testing and key DR-TB medicines, especially bedaquiline and delamanid, and potentially pretomanid, must be accelerated, including through more affordable pricing and by overcoming patent and licensing hurdles. 

The global COVID-19 pandemic has complicated and diverted resources from TB care, amongst other health areas. As the pandemic continues, disruption of TB services must be monitored and minimised. 

This 7th edition of MSF Access Campaign’s “Under the Microscope” examines the current landscape of DR-TB and TB-prevention drug pricing and patents, and what needs to be done to accelerate people’s access to these lifesaving medicines. 

Additional publications in the DR-TB Drugs Under the Microscope report series are available here

Learn more about MSF’s work to improve access to lifesaving TB treatment.