Authors: Jennifer Furin, Grania Brigden, Erica Lessem, Michael Rich, Laura Vaughan, and Sharonann Lynch
Two new drugs—bedaquiline and delamanid—have recently been approved by stringent regulatory authorities to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and recommended by the World Health Organization for use under defined programmatic conditions. Introducing the medications in TB programs worldwide has not kept pace with the need for these drugs. In response, the DR-TB STAT (Drug-Resistant TB Scale-up Treatment Action Team) task force was formed in April 2015 to monitor progress and help overcome challenges. Information was collected from multiple sources and assessed monthly. Some progress has been made in introducing bedaquiline: as of October 2015, a total of 1,258 persons were on the medication under programmatic conditions. For delamanid, >100 patients, but few under programmatic conditions, have received the medication. Coordinated global action might help assist making these medications accessible for persons who need them most.
How is it possible...
...that we sent people to the moon almost 50 years ago, yet millions of people with tuberculosis are still treated with old, inadequate medicines?