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An Activist’s Guide to Bedaquiline (Sirturo)

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BDQ_guide_10_5_18_288x369.pngOctober 5, 2018

This guide — updated from the original version put out by Treatment Action Group in 2013 — summarizes updated efficacy, safety, and access information about bedaquiline, an essential medication in the treatment of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). We wrote this guide to provide information about bedaquiline and its important role in MDR-TB treatment to people with MDR-TB, their caregivers, and their advocates so they can make informed choices and call for bedaquiline to be available, accessible, and affordable for all who need it.

New drugs are urgently needed to get to zero deaths, zero new infections, and zero stigma and suffering from tuberculosis (TB). While TB has been curable for decades, existing drugs have to be taken for months or even years. Even then, cure rates can range from 30% to 80% for cases of drug-resistant TB, depending on the extent of resistance. People with drug-resistant TB must resort to second-line drugs, which are more toxic, less effective, and more expensive. However, in December 2012, a new drug called bedaquiline was approved for the treatment of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Bedaquiline (also known by its trade name, Sirturo, or as TMC207) is the first new drug from a new drug class to treat TB to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in over 40 years. This guide highlights important safety and efficacy data reported thus far and offers advocacy recommendations for activists to take forward.