Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Global Efforts, Actions Needed To End TB

New York Times: We Know How to Conquer Tuberculosis
Editorial Board

“…[P]olicymakers, industry leaders, and doctors on the front lines might … consider a change in strategy: Treat tuberculosis outbreaks in poor countries the same way they are treated in rich ones. That is, don’t just treat those who are sick; find and test their household members, neighbors, classmates, and colleagues — and then treat the ones who test positive. … The [WHO’s] newest treatment guidelines now include a strong recommendation that all people living in households where one person has active tuberculosis receive preventive treatment. If countries implement that guideline, and if doctors abide by it, some 30 million more people should have access to preventive care in the next five years. If that happens, an untold amount of human suffering may be prevented, and a disease that has plagued the world’s most vulnerable people for far too long could finally be wiped out” (9/26).

STAT: Tuberculosis is a disease the world could control. But will it?
Paul Farmer, co-founder and chief strategist of Partners in Health, professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Lelio Marmora, executive director of Unitaid

“…To speed the progress to end tuberculosis as soon as possible, we all must play a part. Drug companies must lower prices from thousands of dollars per course of treatment to hundreds or less. … Industry, academic institutions, international funders, and nonprofit organizations must all step up their game and fund the clinical trials that will produce the best use of new tools and products to prevent and treat TB. Governments must follow through on public proclamations. Nonprofits and development agencies must help countries reach their goals. … We will not stop this global epidemic without an immediate and urgent change in strategy…” (9/26).

The Guardian: Are we finally waking up to the threat from the world’s deadliest infectious disease?
Nick Herbert, co-chair of the Global TB Caucus

“…There are three reasons why it is imperative to act now. First, the humanitarian case. … The second reason to act is economic. … The third reason to act is to ensure global health security. … The U.N. declaration says all the right things. Resources should be increased, public health systems strengthened, and research and development boosted. … But will it be met? Such ambitious proposals will be achieved only if every country delivers its share of the target. The key question will be how the declaration is translated into action. … We must demand that governments translate today’s promises into action” (9/27).

CNBC: J&J exec: Tuberculosis is a global emergency. It’s time to start treating it that way.
Paul Stoffels, vice chair of the executive committee and chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson

“…TB represents one of the greatest public health emergencies today, and we need to start treating it like one. … The Ebola response set an important precedent. In just a few years, the world has made incredible strides to create new tools, and communities at risk for the disease are seeing the benefits. We must work together to ensure the same is true for TB. I am confident that, with investment, energy, and creativity, the world can develop and deliver the innovations we urgently need to get us on the most effective path to make TB history” (9/26).