A report entitled “An Evaluation of Drug-resistant TB Treatment Scale-up” was issued by the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Partners in Health (PIH), and Treatment Action Group (TAG) on 7 July, 2011 and looks at the factors contributing to the slow progress of efforts to scale-up treatment for MDR-TB. The press release indicated that over the past ten years, an estimated 5 million new cases of MDR-TB have occurred and 500,000 lives have been lost. (Full Press Release)
Please note that the Stop TB Partnership has issued an official statement on this report:
Statement from our Executive Secretary, Dr Lucica Ditiu, on the report ‘An evaluation of drug-resistant TB treatment scale-up’
The report asserts that the global response to help countries scale up treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is underfunded and ineffective and argues that more urgency and commitment are needed from governments in countries with high levels of MDR-TB to treat patients and identify new cases. It also urges donors to make MDR-TB a priority and points to the high price of drugs to treat MDR-TB as a stumbling block to scaling up treatment. The authors of the report additionally express their opinion about the effectiveness and transparency of key international support mechanisms.
Like the authors of this report, my goal is to ensure that people everywhere have access to TB care, including MDR-TB care. We agree that a new level of efforts and effective mechanisms are needed if we are to reach the 440 000 people affected by MDR-TB each year with high-quality treatment; and we welcome any assessment that will drive more rapid scale-up of MDR-TB care.
As the availability of second-line drugs is of huge concern, I wish to note that the Global Drug Facility, which is one focus on the report, has since its creation been under close scrutiny by and continuous guidance from all relevant bodies. GDF is under new leadership and has been going through a process of restructuring for the past six months. I am confident that the outcome will be a “new” and more efficient GDF that will build on its well-established successes.
I pledge to work intensively with all our partners to scale up and improve MDR-TB care and to ensure that we reach the targets set forth in our Global Plan to Stop TB.