An Activist’s Guide to Bedaquiline (Sirturo)
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.