Addressing the Large and Messy Private TB Drug Market
Tuberculosis (TB) is widely considered a public health concern and its treatment a public sector responsibility. But according to a study published today in the journal PLoS ONE, the private sector for TB treatment is ignored at our peril. Across 10 high-burden countries, there is as much TB drug volume in the private sector as in the public sector—and at least a third of all private sector dosages of first-line TB drugs fall outside of national and international treatment recommendations. Any resulting drug misuse could be responsible for many treatment failures and for escalating the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), which is further worsening the TB epidemic.
The research, conducted by the TB Alliance and IMS Health (a healthcare market research and consulting-services firm), is the first detailed study of the private TB drug market across multiple high-burden countries. Sixty percent of the world’s TB burden is present in the 10 study countries (Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, South Africa, Thailand, and Viet Nam).