Extend deadline for TB drug regimen: SC

The Health Ministry said that it needed time to overhaul the system and that it would also involve moving and training the human resource

The Supreme Court asked the Centre to advance its deadline for migrating to the new drug regimen for effective cure and control of tuberculosis (TB), saying such important issues of public health should not be made to wait.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar asked the government to consider switching to the new daily dose regimen from January 30 instead of the proposal to cover the entire country under the new programme by June 2018.

“You agree in principle that you have to move to daily drug regimen from intermittent dose that involves giving medicines thrice a week. But you say you need to first exhaust the existing stock and hence need more time. What we don’t understand is that it is the same drug you will be administering under the daily drug programme too. So why delay it?” the bench questioned ASG Maninder Singh, who appeared for the Health Ministry.

Singh said the government needed time to overhaul the system and that it would also involve moving and training the human resource. The court, however, remained unimpressed with his argument. The ASG then sought time to get instructions. The court granted a short adjournment, fixing the matter on Friday.

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