New treatment for drug-resistant TB

Today Medecin Sans Frontiers (MSF) announced preliminary results of the PRACTECAL study, presenting a new, safer, more tolerable and effective treatment of six months duration for patients with rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (TB). 

This is promising news for the half million patients worldwide with this life-threatening disease. Most of whom are dependent on nine to 18 months treatments, which come with significant side effects. The new treatment uses four oral drugs  three of which have been already successfully used in another all-oral six-months (BPaL) treatment regimen, introduced by the TB Alliance in 2019. 

The new findings confirm that treatments based on the all-oral combination of bedaquiline, pretomanid and linezolid are capable of successfully treating drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis (DR-TB). And also, that the safety of patients is ensured on the regimen. These findings were demonstrated across countries with different socioeconomic circumstances and different health systems, adding further weight to the trial findings.

Whilst awaiting scientific publication of the study results and further WHO recommendations, being in the forefront of implementation of the BPaL-based treatment regimens for DR-TB in 10 countries, KNCV will continue to assist countries develop their health systems in order to provide access to these safer and more effective all-oral treatment regimens to all in need.

KNCV applauds MSF, the National TB Programmes of Belarus,South Africa and Uzbekistan, partners and patients on reaching this important milestone.

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 117 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB control, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

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Tuberculosis is still one of the major causes of preventable death in the world and claims over 4000 lives a day, leading to over 1,5 million deaths a year.

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