Johnson & Johnson works to accelerate patient access to bedaquiline

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Through its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, Johnson & Johnson donated more than 10,000 courses of bedaquiline in 2016 as part of a global donation programme, operated in partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Johnson & Johnson is committed to combating tuberculosis (TB) in India. Since 2015, we have worked tirelessly to accelerate patient access to bedaquiline, our antibiotic for pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) – a form of the disease that does not respond to the most-commonly used TB medicines – and the first new TB medicine to be introduced in India in nearly 50 years, the company said.

Through its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, Johnson & Johnson donated more than 10,000 courses of bedaquiline in 2016 as part of a global donation programme, operated in partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), with the aim of supporting and enabling the Government of India to build capacity for the medicine’s introduction. In recent weeks, Janssen committed to provide an additional 10,000 courses of bedaquiline free of charge to India through USAID, for a total of 20,000 donated courses. If used in its entirety, this could help catalyse significant progress against MDR-TB in India.

Knowing a holistic approach was needed to enable appropriate access to bedaquiline, Johnson & Johnson has worked with the Indian government and international and local partners to improve surveillance and diagnostic capacity, train health workers on the clinical management of TB, and raise awareness about TB at the community level. The company also supports the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme, partnering with local manufacturers to produce bedaquiline for use in India and globally.

The Government of India has set the ambitious goal of ending TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of 2030. There are an estimated 135,000 cases of drug-resistant TB in India every year, and currently less than 30 per cent of these patients are diagnosed and put on appropriate treatment regimen.