need a pill

How charity is fuelling a superbug in India

For the first time, the Government of India is accepting large donations of a drug for a public health crisis. Johnson & Johnson’s bedaquiline, a life-saving drug, is trickling down via charity as thousands wage a hopeless battle against a superbug

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The evil superbug is on the lookout for new hosts. The hero has the weapon, he can conquer it, but only if he is willing.

The superbug is antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which causes multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), the life-saving weapon is bedaquiline and the reluctant hero is the government.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that 79,000 Indians—the largest number anywhere in the world—were infected in 2015. Without large-scale treatment or prevention of transmission, it is estimated that at least a similar number of Indians contracted the superbug in 2016. Doctors treating…

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