The Council for Healthcare and Pharma (CHP-F), a global think tank that advocates the development of sustainable health systems around the world, has called upon its Japanese partners for easy access and smoother flow of affordable novel drugs such as bedaquiline and delamanid, which have shown remarkable efficacy in tackling the menace of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis, when other drugs fail.
Welcoming the recent steps taken by the government of India in its drive to control and eliminate TB, the not-for-profit body that looks at engaging with governments and other stakeholders to adopt rational approaches that capture benefits, said this disease needs to be recognised and addressed as one of the most serious disease problems for the country.
“We are upping the ante’ for Tuberculosis with our membership base of prominent pharmaceutical companies, providers of diagnostics, medical device manufacturers and hospitals so they in turn can weigh in with the resources at their command to support the efforts that are underway in battling this serious problem,” said Dr Gurpreet Sandhu, President, CHP-F, while emphasising the importance of World Tuberculosis Day observed on March 24.
“TB has to be recognised as a serious disease problem for the Country so that all stakeholders can put their best efforts behind controlling and finally eliminating the disease, much in the same way that we have seen successes with Smallpox, Tetanus, Polio, Leprosy, Yaws and Guinea worm. Concerted action is necessary if we are to get our arms around the problem, ” Sandhu added.
India, accounts for about a quarter of the Global TB Burden. Worldwide, India is the country with the highest burden of both TB and Multi Drug Resistant TB, exacerbated by the injudicious use of drugs. Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) is yet another significant problem that is now centre stage and must be tackled forthwith.
According to WHO, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. In 2017, 10 million people fell ill with TB, and 1.6 million died from the disease (including 0.3 million among people with HIV). In 2017, an estimated 1 million children became ill with TB and 230 000 children died of TB (including children with HIV associated TB). TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. It is estimated that there were 558 000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin – the most effective first-line drug, of which – 82% had MDR-TB. Globally, TB incidence is falling at about 2% per year. This needs to accelerate to a 4–5% annual decline to make a serious dent towards ending the TB epidemic by 2030, among the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
CHP-F, which has domestic and global pharmaceutical companies, diagnostics providers, medical device manufacturers, hospitals and adjunct services as its partners, also bring to bear the collective wisdom of industry and policy makers on health issues that stand to make a positive contribution to the society. Headquartered in New Delhi, the Council focuses on Africa, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, UK and the USA. It’s important areas of work are in ease-of-doing business; increasing competitiveness; broadening access to safe, efficacious and affordable healthcare services and medicines.