Govt Announces Rollout of Anti-Tuberculosis Medicine Bedaquiline

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday, the union health ministry announced the rollout of bedaquiline, the first anti-tuberculosis medicine made in 40 years. As the drug was prepared in quick response to the World Health Organisation’s urgent call in 2012 to pharmaceutical companies to work on anti-TB medications, it hasn’t been widely tested like most drugs are.

But, anecdotally, examples abound of how bedaquiline saved the lives of thousands of patients who didn’t respond to other anti-TB drugs. It is among the first drugs manufactured solely for drug-resistant TB, which is emerging as a major public health challenge around the world.

India has, in association with Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division, decided to make bedaquiline available to 600 patients in six public hospitals. Of these patients, 100 are in the process of being recruited in Mumbai Sewri TB Hospital. “We are in the process of identifying patients living in wards closer to the hospital,” said a senior BMC official.

The selection process for the drug is rigorous: the patient has to fulfill some health criteria to undertake the 24-week course.

Source: Times of India (link opens in a new window)

Health Care