Issue brief |

DR-TB Drugs Under the Microscope, 5th Edition (Abridged)

Despite some positive developments, access to safe and effective treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) remains poor.

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Photograph by Sydelle Willow Smith

Despite some positive developments, access to safe and effective treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) remains poor.

Although TB is the number-one infectious disease killer and one of the top ten causes of mortality worldwide, the global response to TB remains off track. The TB epidemic is exacerbated by the rise of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), flagged by World Health Organization (WHO) as a global emergency in 2014 and again in 2017. An estimated 558,000 people fell ill with drug-resistant forms of TB in 2017 – but only 25% of them were started on treatment.

The interim 2020 targets set by the WHO End TB Strategy – to reduce new TB infections by 20%, reduce TB deaths by 35%, and eliminate catastrophic costs of treatment for families – won’t be reached unless there is a dramatic increase in the pace of the global TB response. Meeting the global TB goals requires not only broad implementation and effective use of the current tools available to prevent, diagnose and treat TB, but also the development of better clinical tools, from point-of-care rapid diagnostic and drug-resistance tests, to safer, shorter and more effective treatment regimens that are easier to administer.

The 5th edition of “DR-TB Drugs Under the Microscope” chronicles the changing landscape of available treatments for DR-TB, outlines the key barriers to accessing the most effective treatments, and makes recommendations for action that can improve TB care on a global scale.

An Online Supplement to the issue brief includes additional information on drug prices and quality, registration status, and paediatric formulations available to treat children with DR-TB. Company contacts and conditions of offer are also presented.

Previous 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.

Read Under the Microscope

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