There are two urgent needs that must be balanced: providing access to medicines while at the same time preventing the emergence of drug resistance caused by inappropriate use of medicines.

Drug resistance emerges when tuberculosis (TB) treatment is not managed properly, including when medicines are not correctly prescribed, when they are of poor quality, or when treatment is not completed.1

Most of the currently used anti-TB medicines are decades old, and strains that are resistant to at least one of them have been reported in every country surveyed by the World Health Organization.

In 2015, an estimated 480,000 people acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), a type of TB resistant to the two most potent first-line TB drugs—rifampicin and isoniazid.2 New treatment options for such patients are urgently needed. At the same time, we need to ensure that TB drugs remain effective for as long as possible, especially since there have been only two new TB medications developed in about 50 years—one of them by Otsuka.

Otsuka is balancing the needs for access and antimicrobial stewardship through collaboration with established organisations who share Otsuka’s priority of fighting and preventing drug resistance, education on the responsible use of the medicine developed by Otsuka, and working with centres experienced in MDR-TB treatment and care.

The company is one of the signatories of the Industry Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance, available here3, which reiterates commitments to continuing the fight against drug resistance through innovative solutions meeting public health needs and improving access to high-quality antibiotics.

References

1. World Health Organization. Tuberculosis Factsheet 104. Reviewed March 2017. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs104/en/ (Accessed 8 June 2017).
2. World Health Organization. Global Tuberculosis Report 2016. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2016.
3. International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations. Declaration by the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Diagnostics Industries on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Available at: https://www.ifpma.org/partners-2/declaration-by-the-pharmaceutical-biotechnology-and-diagnostics-industries-on-combating-antimicrobial-resistance-amr/ (Accessed 8 June 2017).

Information current as of 26-06-2017