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WHO-Sponsored Meeting Discusses Post-2015 Goals For Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) experts gathered in Geneva on Wednesday for a WHO-sponsored two-day meeting “to discuss a consensus on the appropriate post-2015 tuberculosis goals,” Nature reports. In the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, TB is named under Goal 6, with the objective of reducing global TB incidence, but “the tuberculosis community is itching to…

Washington Post Examines Relationship Between Counterfeit Drugs, Rise Of Drug-Resistant TB

The Washington Post examines the emergence of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis (TB) around the world, writing, “One culprit in the rise of untreatable TB is counterfeit drugs, which can undermine treatment efforts by packing insufficient active ingredients to fully kill off bacteria, breeding new, stronger super-strains of the disease.” According to the…

TB Vaccine Candidate Trial Results Are ‘Landmark’ In Fight Against Disease

“Today marks an important landmark for the fight against tuberculosis (TB),” with the publication in the Lancet of clinical trial results showing the TB vaccine candidate MVA85A “was no more effective in protecting infants from developing pulmonary TB than” the standard Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, Peggy Johnston, senior program officer at the…

CDC, State Department, World Bank Should Lead Fight Against Fake, Substandard TB Drugs

“Thanks to billions of dollars spent on diagnosis and treatment [of tuberculosis (TB)] over the past decade, deaths and infections are slowly declining,” but “fake and poorly made antibiotics are being widely used to treat tuberculosis,” according to a study “to be published [Tuesday] in the International Journal of Tuberculosis…

Experimental TB Vaccine Does Not Protect Infants, Study Shows

“Hopes that a much needed new tuberculosis [TB] vaccine was on the way, the first for 90 years, have been dashed by trial results showing it did not protect babies against the disease,” the Guardian reports (Boseley, 2/4). “The vaccine, known as MVA85A, is the most advanced of more than a dozen TB vaccines…

Researchers Await Clinical Trial Results Of Potential TB Vaccine, Expected Early Next Week

“After nearly 100 years, researchers could be on the verge of finding a vaccine that would eradicate tuberculosis [TB] infections,” Reuters reports, noting, “Global health experts are eagerly awaiting clinical trial results, expected early next week, of the first new vaccine in 90 years designed to prevent tuberculosis infections.” The…

Experts Meet To Discuss U.S., Global TB Drug Shortages

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports on a meeting held last week “to discuss the problem of U.S. and global tuberculosis [TB] drug shortages,” writing, “While the meeting was prompted by the impact of drug shortages on budget-decimated [U.S.] state and city tuberculosis programs and their…

Survey Finds Shortage Of TB Medicines In U.S.; Consequences Similar To Lack Of Access In Developing Countries, Advocate Says

“More than 80 percent of health departments in the United States that treat tuberculosis [TB] resistant to standard treatment have trouble obtaining the drugs they need to cure the disease, according to a national survey released on Thursday,”Reuters reports. “Difficulties obtaining the drugs could be attributed to nationwide shortages, shipping delays…

Widespread Use Of New TB Drug Faces Challenges, Science Reports

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the drug bedaquiline, which is used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and is the first TB drug to be approved in more than 40 years, “[b]ut the celebration was tempered because sobering challenges face the drug’s widescale use,” Science reports. Bedaquiline, which was granted licensing…

Reflecting On FDA Approval Of New TB Drug

Noting “[t]he U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it has approved a new treatment for multidrug-resistant [tuberculosis (TB)] that can be used as an alternative when other drugs fail,” Kim Lufkin, communications officer at the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), writes in the coalition’s “Breakthroughs” blog, “There is a pressing and urgent need for even more new TB drugs, which makes this new FDA approval so significant.” She continues, “It is also noteworthy that the FDA approved Sirturo under its accelerated approval program, in addition to granting the drug fast track, priority review, and orphan-product status,” adding, “It’s critical that the FDA continues to support its priority review, fast track, and similar programs, which can help speed access to safe and effective global health drugs” (1/3).

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