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Blog Examines Funding For MDR-TB Versus Drug-Susceptible TB

In the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy at CGD, and Kate McQueston, program coordinator at the center, examine spending on tuberculosis (TB), including drugs to fight susceptible and multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains of the bacteria. “[D]espite higher costs and relatively low rates, most international agencies have made MDR-TB a priority,” they write, adding, “So the question is whether MDR-TB spending is displacing spending — and effort — from the adequate detection and treatment of susceptible TB, that — if done well — could actually prevent further MDR cases.” They conclude with several questions, including, “Given that most TB spending in low-income countries is externally funded, is the current allocation (which seems to favor MDR-TB) the fastest way to reduce TB-related disease and disability?” and, “Would the optimal allocation between susceptible and MDR-TB differ depending on whether you take a global or national perspective?” (3/26).