Feature story |

New TB drugs offer chance of new regimens, experts offer principles for designing new regimens

Tuberculosis bacteria can quickly become resistant to antibiotics, so the disease must be treated with combinations of drugs carefully designed to stave off resistance.  After fifty years without any new TB drugs, two new medicines have finally been approved to treat some of the most severe drug-resistant strains of TB. The current treatment regimen takes two years and has many toxic side effects, but has only a 50% cure rate.  With these two news drugs available, there is an urgent need to leverage this unique opportunity to radically improve the current unsatisfactory treatment regimen.  Experts have outlined eight key principles for designing future DR-TB drug regimens, which should not only address programmatic challenges with the current regimen but also enhance and prolong the efficacy of these new drugs over the long term. 

Read more: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/92/1/13-122028.pdf