India drug-resistant TB hub, but access to new meds poor | India News – Times of India


MUMBAI: While India is home to a quarter of the world’s drug-resistant tuberculosis patients, access to new drugs —whose USP is that they can be taken orally as opposed to injectables — for these patients continues to be poor.
This is the finding of a 37-nation survey conducted by NGOs STOP TB and MSF to assess if governments are in sync with the World Health Organisation’s recommendations for TB treatment. The survey found India compliance is around 29%, with new drugs and testing not getting to people quickly enough.
In India, the new drugs bedaquiline and delamanid are not available in private shops, but are accessible only through government TB centres. While the Global TB Report 2020 estimated India has 1.2 lakh multidrug-resistant TB cases in 2019, public health experts estimate that around 11,000 have received it in the last three years till March 2020.
The STOP TB-MSF report, released late on Monday, found that only 22% of countries surveyed allowed TB treatment to be started and followed up at a primary healthcare facility such as a clinic, instead of travelling to a hospital, and for medicines to be taken at home.

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