Recently, WHO recommended for the first time the all-oral regimen for treatment of all forms of DR-TB with combination drugs — either BPaLM (combination of bedaquiline, pretomanid, linezolid and moxifloxacin) or BPaL (bedaquiline, pretomanid and linezolid).
At this point, the combination therapy in India will be made available only to patients enrolled under the clinical trial conducted by NITRD (National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases) under the national TB-control programme. The trial covers approximately 400 patients, less than 1% of the over 56,000 patients treated for MDR (multi-drug-resistant)-TB in 2019. “The NTEP (National TB Elimination Programme) needs to first develop guidelines for programmatic implementation of the regimen. After this, it will look at procurement and other aspects of the therapy. It could be a long way off,” a public health expert told TOI. TB drugs are supplied free of charge under this government-administered programme. India has the highest burden of TB in the world, accounting for more than a quarter of all cases.