Muhammad Yusuf (8) is undergoing a sputum induction in a specialized room in Paediatric TB hospital in Dushanbe. Sputum is a thick mucus that adults cough up when their lungs are diseased or damaged. Analysing sputum culture is considered the best way to diagnose TB. However, children have great difficulty in producing it themselves. Sputum induction uses a nebulizer machine through which the child inhales concentrated saline solution, that leads to coughing and sputum production. Photograph by Jasňa Riegerová
Issue brief |

DR-TB Drugs Under the Microscope, 8th Edition

Report Cover image
Photograph by Jasňa Riegerová

An earlier version of this brief contained an inaccuracy regarding one of the DR-TB treatment regimens. This has been corrected in the new version.

TB was the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent until the COVID pandemic. The number of people newly diagnosed with TB in 2020 fell by 18% from the previous year due to disruptions to health systems and services caused by the pandemic, with only a partial recovery in 2021. As a result, in 2021, only one in three people with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) received treatment for the disease. 

However, since the onset of the pandemic, more effective and patient-friendly treatments and regimens for adults and children have become available to the TB community. Now more than ever there is a need to accelerate treatment and save more lives.

This Issue Brief – the eighth in this series – by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s Access Campaign, examines the current landscape and trends of DR-TB drug pricing and patents, and highlights challenges and opportunities to accelerate people’s access to lifesaving regimens that are shorter, all-oral and make use of the most effective medicines. 

Earlier publications in the DR-TB Drugs Under the Microscope report series are available here.

DOI: 10.57740/zxbm-0414