Speeding New DR-TB Treatments to Those in Need and Creating Tangible Impact

In 2023, TB Alliance worked to significantly expand the number of people able to access improved DR-TB therapies. To date, pretomanid has been procured by 70+ countries in quantities to reach more 40,000 people—a quarter of the number of people treated for DR-TB each year. Success in rapid expansion of access has been due to a variety of initiatives to generate evidence of BPaL’s real-world impact, assist in treatment policy development, ensure product supply at low prices, and support local technical support and advocacy for the rapid adoption of new TB treatment technologies. We quantified and published potential global savings from implementation of BPaL/M which could be up to $740 million annually.

LIFT-TB Countries Take the Lead in Updating Treatment Guidelines

Countries included in TB Alliance’s LIFT-TB initiative have been at the forefront of accelerating the adoption and scale up of pretomanid and BPaL. Driven by the performance of the regimen in operational research and the inclusion of pretomanid in WHO DR-TB treatment guidelines, five of the seven LIFT-TB countries (Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, and Myanmar) have updated local treatment guidelines to endorse use of pretomanid and BPaL for nearly all DR-TB cases. All LIFT-TB countries are working to scale up the use of pretomanid and BPaL as the national standard of care. Other major countries where TB Alliance initiatives supported rapid adoption and roll out during the year were South Africa and Pakistan.

Enhancing Access to All-Oral, Six-Month DR-TB therapy

The addition of pretomanid to the Essential Medicines List (EML) of the World Health Organization (WHO) is a critical step towards speeding universal access to the BPaL/M regimens for people suffering from drug-resistant (DR) TB.

With this listing, the novel six-month regimens received a further endorsement on the path to providing improved outcomes for all eligible patients, replacing older, toxic, and often ineffective combinations that oftentimes required 18 months or longer treatment.
— Dr. Mel Spigelman, President and CEO, TB Alliance

Fast Tracking New Cures with Global Grassroots Partners

In support of the WHO’s Call to Action to accelerate access to shorter DR-TB cures for all, in 2023, TB Alliance and partners launched Fast Track the Cure, a movement to unite communities around the world to make their voices heard to world leaders that six-month DR-TB cures must be widely adopted and available to all who need them. Partners from countries around the world worked on the ground to advocate and hold events to accelerate local and regional adoption and scale-up of six-month, all-oral DR-TB therapies, like BPaL/M. Partners also launched coordinated online advocacy tools and campaigns around the #6MonthsMax hashtag, including a global petition and inclusive social media toolkit.

The Year in Photos

In 2023 we saw a year of progress in getting treatments into the hands of people who need them. By the end of the year, 40,000 people had accessed short, six-month, all-oral treatment for DR-TB. These photos show how advancing a pipeline for improved TB medicines can have a direct impact saving and improving the lives of people around the world.

Browse the entire gallery on Pixieset

SPOTLIGHT: “Because of this New, Novel Regimen, My Body Felt Stronger” – Joi’s #6MonthsMax Story

Joi was diagnosed with TB in 2022. He was first given therapy for drug-sensitive TB, only to find—months later—that his TB was drug-resistant. Joi was then switched first to a nine-month regimen, then again to an 18-month regimen. But Joi didn’t respond well to either course. He suffered from many side effects of the treatment, including vomiting, dizziness, loss of appetite, significant weight loss, and skin rashes. Joi was then able to access BPaL as part of the operational research program associated with the LIFT-TB initiative in his country, The Philippines. Almost immediately, Joi’s condition improved dramatically. On BPaL, Joi was cured of his DR-TB with minimal side effects. In reflecting on his experience with the regimen, Joi noted, “This new novel regimen is good for me because it is lesser pill burden, lesser duration, and less side effects.” Today, Joi is healthy and has taken to advocate for widespread access to new, short, and effective DR-TB cures for all.

See More Stories of #TBCourage and #6MonthsMax TB Cures

Annual Report 2023