During a pre-conference event of the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam this year, the Minister of Health of South Africa, Mr. Aaron Motsoaledi, signed a deal with the manufacturer of Bedaquiline, Janssen, to drop the price of the drug from $750 to $400 for a full course.
South Africa is one of thirty countries high burden of Tuberculosis.
New drugs and regimens
Bedaquiline is one of two new drugs that have been introduced in the last 50 years specifically for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. With the rise of antimicrobial resistance, the arrival of new anti-TB drugs represents a major advancement in the care for patients with DR-TB and newfound hope to eliminate TB worldwide.
The World Health Organization released updated guidelines in May 2016 to standardize shorter regimens for DR-TB patients, significantly reducing treatment duration from up to 2 years to as little as 9 months using the new drugs Bedaquiline and Delamanid.
KNCV supports accessibility to new drugs
KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation through the USAID-funded, KNCV led Challenge TB has supported all the countries where we work to develop a policy framework, train staff, and expand diagnostic capacity, in an effort to ensure access is available for all eligible patients.
Individualized regimens containing Bedaquiline are now available in all 22 Challenge TB supported countries, while Delamanid is currently available in 14. Twenty countries are using the shorter regimen and will begin soon in the final two.
We hope this announcement will be the first of many such deals to bring life-saving new drugs and treatment regimens to all the TB patients who need them.
Read these stories of hope and how the new drugs and regimen are changing lives in Kyrgyzstan:
The Lack of Access to New Drugs is a Death Sentence
All Patients are Entitled to Effective Medicines Against Drug-resistant tuberculosis
Baby Steps and Big Victories: Fighting Drug-Resistant TB in Kyrgyzstan