September 30, 2019 – New TB Drug
Anchor lead: A new combination regimen for tuberculosis is a game changer, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Drug resistant tuberculosis is a killer, but now a drug recently approved by the FDA, called Pretomanid, in combination with two existing drugs, can help. Richard Chaisson, a TB expert at Johns Hopkins, describes its impact.
Chaisson: The disease it’s treating is extensively drug resistant TB, which means impossible to treat tuberculosis, where the mortality rates are 80%, treatment is miserable. People are on toxic drugs for several years and usually die. This new treatment which includes three drugs, including Pretomanid, the approved drug, cured virtually everybody in six months with all oral treatment, no injections, and everyone tolerated it. :30
Chaisson says worldwide, the death toll due to tuberculosis topped 1.3 million people in 2017, and with drug resistant TB on the rise, the need for effective treatment is critical. He notes that while the US doesn’t see that many cases, drug resistant TB is still a concern. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.