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Bedaquiline availability in poor countries

 

Source: The Wire

 Context: In a significant breakthrough, the nonprofit Global Drug Facility has reached an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to distribute generic versions of the anti-tuberculosis drug bedaquiline in most low and middle-income countries.

 

About TB:

TB is caused by bacteria and primarily affects the lungs but can also impact other parts of the body. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

  • It is a treatable but deadly infectious disease causing 1.5 million deaths annually. Johnson & Johnson holds the patent for bedaquiline, which has shown high success in treating drug-resistant TB.

 

Significance of the agreement:

  • The agreement will enable affordable access to the drug, with generic manufacturers in India expected to offer it at an 80% lower price. The goal is to end TB, and the tender for bedaquiline will be launched soon.
  • This breakthrough brings hope for improved accessibility and affordability of the drug, supporting global efforts to eliminate TB by 2030.

 

About Global Drug Facility

Global Drug Facility (GDF) is a non-profit organization implementing the UN-backed ‘The Stop TB Partnership’ to facilitate global access to quality-assured, affordable TB diagnostics and treatments.

 

About Stop TB Partnership:

It was founded in 2001 and is a UN-hosted organization. It brings together expertise from a broad spectrum of country, regional, and global partners in a shared mission to end TB by 2030. Hosted and administered by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Geneva, Switzerland.