August saw two major milestones for diagnosing and curing extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, or XDR TB—the most drug-resistant of TB strains. On 14 August, the US drug regulator approved a new drug—Pretomanid—only the third new antibiotic developed to fight TB in over half a century. It’s a ray of hope for some 2,700 people living with the superbug in India, as per 2018 figures from the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP).

Pretomanid is promising, especially since, unlike the last two drugs—Bedaquiline and Delamanid—it is developed by the non-profit TB Alliance rather than a traditional pharma company.

AUTHOR

Suraksha P

Suraksha writes on Healthcare and Pharma. She has been a journalist for five years, reporting for The New Indian Express in Bengaluru and Chennai, and The Times of India, Delhi. In her previous stints she has written on health, civic issues and education. She investigated cover up of corruption in the state health department’s think tank, narrated harrowing tales of women who underwent unwarranted hysterectomies, and wrote about how loss of biometrics came in the way of Leprosy patients getting an Aadhaar card and thereby pension. She can be reached at suraksha at the-ken dot com.

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