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India Spending Less Than Planned Expenditure For TB Budget

“Confronting a slowing economy and a large budget deficit, India has significantly reduced its planned expenditure on fighting tuberculosis, the airborne disease that kills more adults here than any other infection and has become increasingly more drug resistant, a review of government plans and budgets shows,” the Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog reports. “In India, in the fiscal year ending March, a review of budget documents shows that the country’s TB department spent about 20 percent less on TB than originally budgeted,” the blog notes. “India’s TB program aimed to treat 8.3 million TB patients from 2012-2017, which includes 120,000 patients with multidrug-resistant TB, according to the program’s annual report,” the blog writes, adding, “For these patients, anti-TB drugs will cost 17.97 billion rupees, or $292 million, the report says. But the report says the budgeted amount for these medicines is only 14.37 billion rupees, or $233 million.” According to the blog, “When asked about the potential shortfall, Dr. [K.S.] Sachdeva of India’s TB program, said the difference between the amount needed and the amount allocated was likely a printing error, and that he would investigate further” (Shah/Anand, 10/30).