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Health Ministry rejects reports of tuberculosis medicine shortages
9/26/2023 10:16:58 PM

NEW DELHI, Sept 26: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a statement refuting recent media reports that suggest a shortage of anti-Tuberculosis (TB) drugs in India and question the efficacy of these drugs under the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP). The ministry has labelled these reports as vague and ill-informed, lacking specific information about the availability of anti-TB medicines in stock, read the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare press release.
Under the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP), the treatment for drug-sensitive tuberculosis involves a regimen of four drugs available as 4 FDC (Isoniazid, Rifampicin, Ethambutol, and Pyrazinamide) for two months, followed by three drugs available as 3 FDC (Isoniazid, Rifampicin, and Ethambutol) for an additional two months.
Importantly, there are sufficient stocks of all these drugs, with supplies lasting for six months or more.
For Multi-Drug Resistant TB, the treatment typically consists of four months of seven drugs, followed by five months of four drugs. In approximately 30 per cent of cases of drug-resistant TB, cycloserine and linezolid may be required, read the press release.
The procurement, storage, and distribution of anti-TB drugs and related materials are centrally managed under NTEP. In rare cases, states were requested to procure specific drugs locally for a limited period to ensure that individual patient care remains uninterrupted.
For instance, Maharashtra has procured Cycloserine Tablets centrally, and some states have delegated procurement to districts as needed.
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