'Drug-resistant TB on the rise in India'

Mar 23 2014, 11:42 IST
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SummaryA global medical humanitarian aid group has sought the government's intervention in preventing unregulated sale of tuberculosis drugs in the private healthcare sector, saying it has led to the emergence of drug-resistant TB in the country.

in the country, the group has sought implementation by the Central TB Division of a standardised first-line daily drug regimen across the public and private sectors to help in simplifying prescription, adherence and drug supply management of first-line TB treatment.

"Other countries have already undertaken steps to control DR-TB, by ensuring drug regulatory authorities strictly regulate the quality and formulations of first-line TB drugs in the private market.

"Governments like Brazil have even taken the additional step of making the public sector the primary distributor of all TB drugs," said Leena Menghaney, India Coordinator of MSF's Access Campaign.

According to the Central TB Division, India has the highest burden of TB with two million cases every year.

WHO's Global Tuberculosis Report (2013) says India has the second highest MDR-TB burden in the world with an estimated 64,000 cases in 2012.

Yet only 14,000 people in India with MDR-TB have access to the treatment they need to stay alive, MSF said.

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