MANILA – Global pharmaceutical company Sanofi has agreed to reduce the price of preventive tuberculosis medication as part of a major agreement that is expected to benefit 1.7 billion people.
The announcement was made on Thursday at the 50th Union Lung Health World Conference in Hyderabad, India.
The agreement pledged a purchase for drugs, rifapentin from Unitaid and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2020, told Robert Matiru Devex, Director of Operations. To ensure a nearly 70% price reduction, Unitaid and the Global Fund have committed to supply the drug for the treatment of at least 300,000 patients in 2020.
New tools, old issues: TBC's financing gap continues
According to WHO's latest global CPC report, there is a strong line of tools aimed at diagnosing, preventing and treating TB. However, experts told Devex that it would require a large amount of funding and affordability for those who need it.
“It was important for us to agree on the target threshold for next year's treatments. [Sanofi] To ensure that the product will actually be introduced and put on the market, to enable them to realize economies and to offer such a price reduction. ”
The agreement follows in the footsteps of a high-level TB meeting in New York last year, when the US member states reached agreement on a political declaration calling for greater determination to end TB by 2030.
As part of the agreement, drug ripapentin will be offered to $ 15 for 100 countries – a significant reduction from the current transport cost to about $ 45, but does not include other related costs such as transport. The steep price tag, despite the promise of a shorter course of treatment, prevented most countries from using it in preventive TB interventions.
Orum I don't think we can expect to see competitive price reductions until we have healthier markets and I mean at least three companies in the market. ”
– Robert Matiru, operations manager, Unitaid
Isoniazid has been the standard treatment drug for TB, but for people with latent TB infection, the drug should be taken daily for at least six months. The combination of rifapentin and isoniazid reduces the duration of treatment to 12 weeks or three months and medications should be taken only once a week.
Matiru said it would cost about $ 16-17 in combination with a 12-week isoniazid rifapentin.
Oni Isoniazid is a very cheap drug. Thus, the isoniazid component does not increase the total; The major component of the price is rifapentin. ”
The price drop is expected to benefit people with latent TB infection and prevent the development of the disease that causes close to 1.5 million deaths each year. Approximately 5-10% of people with latent TB infection – between 85 million and 170 million people – are predicted to develop if preventive treatment is not provided.
According to Unitaid, 100 eligible countries account for more than 90% of the need for global preventive treatment for latent TB infection. Priority was part of the priority, which included countries with the highest TB burden, countries with TB and HIV infection.
Var There are people who argue that eligibility should be higher; Let's say 140, 150 countries. And we don't agree. However, this is a very important starting point, and what he knows is that, pragmatically, not all countries will be in a position to start to move completely by next year's rolling. ”
“But in the following agreements, especially with the generic companies Unitaid, we will try to increase compliance, so that when countries are ready to move on a little later, they can certainly get a good price, if not better. 15 dollars, ”he said.
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The low rifapentin price will be available to international funding providers with TB programming, such as the Global Fund, the Global Pharmaceutical Facility, and the US President's AIDS Emergency Assistance Plan, as well as major international NGOs such as Médecins Sans Frontières. Matiru said the drug would cover “the lion's share of purchase”.
Small NGOs are “unsuitable”, but demands will be received on a case-by-case basis to ensure Sanofi manages the number of purchasers.
“But the key factor is that they buy on behalf of the eligible countries, Un the Unitaid official said.
Unitaid and partners hope to launch two generic producers in the next two years, increasing the supply of rifapentine as more countries are expected to launch the regime and increase competition.
Kadar I don't think we can expect to see competitive price cuts until we have healthier markets and I mean at least three companies in the market. So, starting from the next year – a general company – and the next year as another general company, we are trying to introduce a new two companies to the market. "Said.
Unitaid does not currently negotiate the pricing of multidrug-resistant TB therapies, which is a contention point for many TB activists and MSF. At the opening of the TB conference in India this week, he called on pharmaceutical companies to be more appropriate to make treatments for drug-resistant TB, such as bedaquilin, delamanide, and pretomanide, making them more accessible to those in need.
Neden I think it's just a matter of timing, Mat Matiru asked why.
“Presently, the board has prioritized several areas in the response to TB for primary care, MDR-TB diagnosis, pediatric therapies, gene sequencing for diagnosis. … But it will probably be an area for investments to begin earning more. MDR-TB is affordable. ”
According to the World Health Organization's latest global TB report, MDR-TB or rifampicin-resistant TB cases reported in 2018 were reported – from 160,684 in 2017. Although there is an increase in the number of cases registered for treatment – there are fewer people receiving treatment in 2017 – from 139,114 to 156,071. In 2018, this was only 32% of the estimated case rate of 484,000.