Contact: Natalie Shure, email@example.com
New York, NY, September 19, 2023 – Following intense pressure from TB-affected communities and civil society, Danaher’s price reduction of Xpert tests for TB and resistance to rifampicin (MTB/RIF Ultra) from $9.98 to $7.97 is a significant step forward that will help increase access to a lifesaving TB test and support countries to make progress toward closing major gaps in TB diagnosis. However, this 20% price reduction falls short of community and civil society demands for $5 TB tests and doesn’t apply to Xpert MTB/XDR or assays for other diseases. Increasing access to Xpert MTB/XDR is critically needed to expand rapid testing for resistance to isoniazid and the fluoroquinolones which is needed to scale up access to the shorter regimens for drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB. Danaher claims that the $7.97 price for MTB/RIF Ultra is “at cost with no profit earned”— but an independent analysis of the cost of production of GeneXpert tests commissioned by MSF tells a different story. We encourage Danaher to expand this price reduction to MTB/XDR and other GeneXpert assays and allow an independent third party to review the cost of production and validate the claim that $7.97 is truly “at cost” pricing. Without further action, access to essential tests including Xpert MTB/XDR and tests for HIV, HCV, HPV, COVID-19, and Ebola will remain limited.
The public invested more than $250 million in the development of GeneXpert, and the base technology was developed in a U.S. government lab. It’s taken a decade to get a 20% price reduction. To guard against similar scenarios in the future, public funding of TB R&D, even at the earliest stages, should include conditions that require equitable and affordable access to the resulting innovations.
# # #