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Organizations Recognize World TB Day, Release Blog Posts, Resources On TB

BMJ Opinion: The U.N.’s Political Declaration on the fight against Tuberculosis must be operationalized to rapid effect
Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director for WHO South-East Asia, discusses the importance of streamlining financing and global investment in TB (3/24).

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: MDR-TB: A Major Global Health Threat
This post discusses the threat of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) globally, noting that the issue “demands additional funding and attention from U.S. leaders” (3/22).

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s “Voices”: In Rural India, High-tech Vans Find “Missing” TB Patients
This post discusses the use of vans equipped with diagnostic tools to find “missing,” otherwise known as undiagnosed, untreated, or unreported, TB patients in India (3/21).

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s “Voices”: Q&A: The Hunt for TB’s “Missing Millions”
This post features an interview with Eliud Wandwalo, senior disease coordinator for TB at the Global Fund, on the importance of finding missing TB patients and the Global Fund’s efforts to ensure these patients are identified and put on treatment (3/21).

Institute of Development Studies: It’s time to address the intersection of poverty and masculinity to End TB
Bertie Squire, professor at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, discusses the burden of TB among men and boys, writing, “Men are disproportionately affected by TB. More men than women are diagnosed and die from TB globally, and more men than women have undetected TB. Yet while strategies to tackle the disease have become more gender-sensitive, they tend to focus on women and girls and not men and boys. Without the inclusion of men and boys, as well as a greater recognition of how gender and poverty intersect to prevent diagnosis and treatment of TB, efforts to end this deadly disease will be hindered” (3/22).

Médecins Sans Frontières: World TB Day: Treating the untreatable
This post discusses a patent challenge in India, which aims to block Johnson & Johnson (J&J) from extending its patent on the TB drug bedaquiline. The post notes, “If this new patent is granted, J&J’s monopoly on bedaquiline would be extended from 2023 to 2027, keeping cheaper generic versions of the drug off the market for an additional four years. … MSF supports the patent challenge and is calling on J&J to stop attempts to extend its monopoly on a lifesaving drug with the potential to improve cure rates for patients battling [drug-resistant TB (DR-TB)] in India and around the world. We are also urging J&J to cut the price of bedaquiline to $1 a day so that many more lives can be saved” (3/22).

PLOS Blog’s “Speaking of Medicine”: Progress in Peril: Stagnant Funding Could Lengthen the TB Elimination Timeline
In recognition of World TB Day, Jay Achar, tuberculosis/HIV program and research adviser within the Manson Unit of Médecins Sans Frontières, “explains how despite encouraging innovation in the fight to eradicate TB, progress could be stalled if TB actors become complacent” (3/22).

PLOS: PLOS Special Collection launch: Shaping novel TB treatments
“To commemorate World TB Day, a Special Collection has been released by PLOS Medicine containing a series of articles that articulate the essential new steps in clinical research that will pave the way for the development of tomorrow’s optimal treatment for all forms of tuberculosis. … The series is the outcome of a technical consultation organized by WHO … to identify and outline, through expert consensus, the optimal characteristics of clinical trial designs to inform policy guidance for the development of new TB regimens…” (3/22).

World Health Organization: Drug resistant strains could become the dominant form of TB in Europe: it’s time to end TB
“If the current situation continues, the majority of tuberculosis (TB) patients in the next generation could be suffering from drug resistant forms of the disease. The latest WHO/European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) report, ‘Tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring in Europe 2019 (2017 data),’ shows that the European Region is struggling to make sufficient progress to finally end TB…” (3/22).