Tuberculosis – The Final Frontier: Pt. 3 – “Historic Opportunity for a New Treatment Regimen”

Tuberculosis – The Final Frontier: Pt. 3 – “Historic Opportunity for a New Treatment Regimen”


The drug-resistant TB crisis is mounting yet the old and toxic drugs are failing
to deliver. A new treatment regimen is urgently
needed and after half a century of neglect the
chance is finally here. Whether the tablets make me sick or not I must take them. Every time I have to swallow these it is just you know a trip to hell. But what to do? To live, I have to do this. For a chance of cure patients must take around 15,000 pills. Endure eight months of punishing daily injections. Some patients will develop depression, we’ve even had patients commit suicide because of the treatment. For two long years If we follow international best practice guidelines then we actually get 54% success rate. We are down to
levels 1 in 2, we are flipping a coin almost with who gets cured this is this is clearly unacceptable. Our patients are suffering our medical staff are distressed and as
the epidemic grows the cost of inaction is mounting. The cost of the drugs alone for DR TB is around three billion dollars a year. Think about that – three billion dollars a year. And on top of that we have to pay for
other costs. We have to pay for the long treatment period, the hospitalization, the
management of the awful side effects that we see this is something that’s clearly not
going to allow us to scale up treatment to a level we need to to meet this public
health problem. What we need today to bust the epidemic of drug resistant Tuberculosis is a treatment that is short, less toxic and more affordable. After nearly half a century of neglect the wait is finally over. Today we have a historic opportunity. The TB drug pipeline is the best it’s been
in the last 50 years. For the first time in 50 years we have a drug registered for drug resistant TB. This is a drug called Bedaquiline see new regimens being developed, we need
something practical coming out not just new drugs. We need real treatments for patients. We need to see these drugs being put together, we need to The time is now to push on and
development optimal treatment regimen to find the best, shortest and most
effective cure for patients. Please, let us get into something which is short and really effective with less side effects. A new treatment regimen is the giant leap necessary to tackle this global crisis. We have to seize this opportunity, we
can turn this epidemic around We need to step up, we need to deliver. The dream of having shorter TB treatment for multidrug-resistant TB. The
dream of having treatment that doesn’t need injectables and the dream of having treatment that is better tolerated and has less side effects
is at a point where we can make it a reality. What is coming
out is revolutionary for TB and I think we have
a moral obligation to do better and that we have a moral obligation to really tackle this problem because we have the ability to
do so. Because we can. We must do it.

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