WHO announce upcoming updates on treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis

pharmafile | May 4, 2022 | News story | Research and Development  

A rapid communication released by WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme has announced upcoming updates to the guidance on the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB).

Tuberculosis (TB) is bacterial disease, spread from individuals through the air. In most cases it is curable—however, DR-TB can occur when bacteria become resistant to the drugs used to treat it. TB can cause death if those infected do not receive proper or effective treatment. DR-TB can occur when the drugs used to treat TB are misused or mismanaged.

The updates from WHO include shorter novel 6-month all-oral regimens for the treatment of multidrug- and rifampicin-resistant TB (MDR/RR-TB), with or without additional resistance to fluoroquinolones, as well as an alternative 9-month all-oral regimen for the treatment of MDR/RR-TB.

The announcement was released in advance of updated WHO consolidated guidelines expected later in 2022. The guidelines will aim to inform national TB programmes, and other stakeholders, of key changes in the treatment of DR-TB. They will also aim to allow for rapid transition and planning at the country level.  

“We now have more and much better treatment options for people with drug-resistant TB thanks to research generating new evidence. This is major progress compared to what was available even a few years ago, and will be of great benefit for people struggling with TB and drug-resistant TB, resulting in better outcomes, saving lives and reducing suffering,” said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme. “We now need all hands on deck to enable the rapid uptake of these guidelines, and to enable access to the new treatment options  for those in need.” 

Drug resistant TB can occur when full courses of TB treatment are not completed by patients; when healthcare providers prescribe the wrong treatment – either at the wrong dose, or for the incorrect length of time; or drugs for proper treatment are not available or of poor quality.

Ana Ovey

Related Content

No items found

Latest content