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Sci Tech    H3'ed 3/12/23

Will shorter, safer and more effective TB regimen reach those in need?

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Will shorter, safer and more effective TB regimen reach those in need?

SHOBHA SHUKLA - CNS

Latest new treatments must reach all those who need them without delay
Latest new treatments must reach all those who need them without delay
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"Patients in India and other countries are falling ill with drug-resistant TB every day. We believe these patients should not have to wait, they need better treatments today - not one or few years down the line. We have the data and strong scientific evidence to show why shorter, safer, more effective regimens to treat drug resistant TB be scaled up programmatically" said Dr Animesh Sinha, Advisor for Tuberculosis at Me'decins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders.

Yet, as per the Global TB Report 2022, currently only 92 countries are using the shorter MDR-TB regimens. What is more appalling is that of the 1.5 million MDR-TB patients to be treated between 2018-2022 as per targets set at the UN high-level meeting on TB - only 43% could receive any treatment at all till end of 2021. At the same time the burden of drug-resistant TB increased globally with 450,000 new cases of rifampicin-resistant TB in 2021.

Short Regimens to treat drug resistant TB

"Results of the TB PRACTECAL clinical trial (Pragmatic Clinical Trial for more effective, less toxic MDR-TB treatment regimen) show that the all oral 6 month long BPaLM (Bedaquiline, Pretomanid, Linezolid, and Moxifloxacin) regimen was found to be effective in 89% of the patients (regardless of their HIV status) with rifampicin resistant TB of the lungs, as compared to less than 60% efficacy of the almost 24 month long standard of care regimen. Patients on BPaLM also had fewer side effects as compared to those on standard of care", said Sinha, who was among the experts at the 77th National Conference of Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (NATCON) held in Agra, India.

Short regimen is cost effective too

Two sub-studies were also done as part of TB PRACTECAL. One sub-study shows that patients who were on shorter regimen had better quality of life than those on standard of care regimen.

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