Govt holding series of meetings to put check on spread of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis
New Delhi: Aiming to eliminate tuberculosis from the country, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is holding a series of meetings to finalise its strategies to put a check on the spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
The price fixation of two key medicines -- Bedaquiline and Delaminid, which are used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, is at the top among the several other important issues.
According to official sources, several rounds of high-level meetings have been held over the price fixation issue with concerned drug manufacturers. The sources have maintained that the prices of both the drugs would be fixed in such as way that it would become very affordable for the general masses.
"The manufacturing companies have given their presentations offering rate list as per the pocket size of Indian patients. We are hopeful that it would be finalised after very soon," a representative of the drug company said.
It's worth mentioning that the Health Ministry in partnership with World Health Organization (WHO), the Stop TB Partnership is organising the Delhi End TB Summit beginning from March 13. At the summit, which would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the global leaders from over 15 countries would showcase their strategies to end TB by 2030, the target set by the WHO.
Explaining about the requirements of Bedaquiline and Delaminid drugs, the sources said that even though the drug is required by just 1,000 patients out of 10,000 patients suffering from MDR tuberculosis, the government is committed to provide the expensive drug at the pocket-friendly price.
"Its fact that in the country there are about 1.3 lakh patients suffering from MDR tuberculosis, but that doesn't mean that every patient would need the doses of Bedaquiline. In the country, there are about 10,000 patients that need Bedaquiline and we have the quantity to meet the demand," the sources said.
In India, about 1,300 die due to TB every day as the country is home to the largest number of tuberculosis patients, with 2.8 lakh suffering from the airborne disease and out of this, around 1.30 lakh are the worst-affected as they have become resistant to known medicines.