March 21, 2014 - Despite great progress made in the fight to eradicate Tuberculosis (TB), the disease remains a global killer and disproportionately affects the world’s poor. Sandoz, a leading provider of high-quality, affordable generic medicines, has the opportunity to significantly contribute to the fight against TB.
Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent, according to the World Health Organization. In 2012, 8.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.3 million died from TB.
Progress is being made
According to the World Health Organization’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2013, the estimated number of people falling ill with tuberculosis each year is declining, although very slowly. This means that the world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to reverse the spread of TB by 2015. The TB death rate dropped 45% between 1990 and 2012 and an estimated 22 million lives were saved through the use of DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment – Short course) and the Stop TB Strategy recommended by WHO.
Yet there is much work to be done
In 2012, about 3 million people who developed TB were missed by national notification systems, according to the WHO 2013 TB report. Concentrated, global efforts need to be made to reach missed cases of TB, address Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) as a public health crisis, accelerate the response to TB/HIV, increasing financing to close all resource gaps, and ensure rapid uptake of innovations.
Lack of access to healthcare is a major contributing factor to the millions of new TB cases each year
In developing countries, there are often serious challenges to patient access to healthcare. Along with medicines and professional treatment, this includes access to healthcare education, such as how to detect TB and how to properly treat the disease. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, according to the WHO.
Sandoz wants to contribute to the long-term goal of eliminating Tuberculosis. We do this by being one of the main suppliers of anti-TB medicines to the WHO Global Drug Facility. Sandoz represents 25% of the anti-TB medicine supply to the WHO and our medicines reach approximately 500,000 people a year who are living with Tuberculosis. We aim to increase our reach significantly by 2016 by bringing our high-quality, affordable TB medicines to more countries around the world.
But we don’t stop at making medicines. Our goal is to provide health outcomes. That requires making sure our medicines get to the people who need them, that they know how to use our medicines and that they understand the importance of detecting the disease early on. Sandoz is involved in numerous public and private initiatives to bring Tuberculosis prevention, detection and treatment education to patients all over the world, no matter where they live.
To learn more about Sandoz, Tuberculosis, our TB medicines, manufacturing capabilities, TB drug donations, and to read our free scientific journal on the state of Tuberculosis, visit our dedicated TB website: http://www.tbdots.com/index.shtml