Tuberculosis drug issues: prices, fixed-dose combination products and second-line drugs [The Eddie O'Brien Lecture]
The paper reports on the inclusion of second-line TB drugs in the 1999 WHO Essential Drug List (EDL). The need to ensure that these drugs are used within established DOTS-Plus programs is stressed.
The price of TB drugs is determined by many factors, including producer prices, local taxes and duties as well as mark-ups and fees. TB drug prices for both the public and private sectors from industrialized and developing countries are reported. Price trends over time are also reported. The key findings of this study are that TB drug prices have generally declined in developing countries while they have increased in developed countries, both for the public and private sectors. Prices vary between countries, with the US paying as much as 95 times the price paid in a specific developing country. The prices of public sector first-line TB drugs vary little between countries, although differences do exist due to the procurement methods used. The price of tuberculin, a diagnostic agent, has increased dramatically in the US, with substantial inter-country variations in price.
The paper suggests that further research is necessary to identify the reasons for the price disparities and changes over time, and suggests methods which can be used by National Tuberculosis Programme managers to ensure availability of quality assured TB drugs at low prices.
Document Type: Miscellaneous
Affiliations: Department of International Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Publication date: 2000-12-01
The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.
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