[Ip-health] WHA72: Statement by MMI/PHM/TWN on item 11.8 Ending Tuberculosis

Heba Wanis h.wanis at gmail.com
Sat May 25 13:49:32 PDT 2019

*11.8 Follow-up to the high-level meetings of the United Nations General
Assembly on health-related issues: Ending tuberculosis*

Thank you, Chair.

I read this statement on behalf of 15 CSOs and networks present at this
Assembly, representing nearly 100 organisations in more than 70 countries.

We wish to draw the attention to the high cost of drug-resistant TB. As
mentioned in the Secretariat Report in 2017, out of the
5,58,000 drug-resistant TB patients, only one in four were enrolled in
treatment.  The two new medicines for treatment of drug resistant TB:
Delamanid and Bedaquiline are highly priced, compromising the ability of
states to provide treatment to needy patients.  The cost of Delamanid is
1700 USD for a six-month course.  South Africa negotiated and reduced the
price of Bedaquiline to 400 USD at the time when research has shown that it
could be produced and sold at a profit for only $16 per month at volumes of
108,000 treatment courses per year.

Bedaquliine is patented in most of the high burden countries such as India,
China, Russia and South Africa. We call upon Member States to make use of
legitimate TRIPS flexibilities such as compulsory license or government use
to ensure access at affordable prices, rather than relying on unsustainable
donation programmes. Also, countries where TB medicines are not patented
should explore opportunities for generic production to supply those with
high TB burden.

Finally, we express our concern that the Board of Stop TB Partnership,
which is one of the WHO’s partners, is represented in this Assembly by a
pharmaceutical company which manufactures Bedaquiline.

Thank you.

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