- Tuberculosis (TB) was responsible for 1.7 million deaths in 2016, despite most cases being curable. Over 10 million people contract TB every year. WHO South-East Asia Region, which hosts about one-fourth of the global population, shares a disproportionate 46% global TB disease burden.
- India continues to have the highest number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the world, stated the Global TB Report 2017 released by World Health Organization (WHO).
- On PM Modi’s direction, a national strategic plan has been developed to eradicate TB by the year 2020 to 2025.
- In 2017, a Lancet study had predicted an increase in drug-resistant TB cases in four high-burden countries, including India.
Private chemists can now distribute free tuberculosis (TB) drugs. The central government has made this decision. This move will help lakhs of poor TB patients who otherwise have to flock to DOTS centres to procure TB medication.
With an aim to eradicate TB by 2025, the government has taken a very important step as far as TB control and management is concern. The union government has given a green signal to the local chemist shops, to distribute free TB drugs to the patients.
In a letter dated February 14, 2018, Maharashtra’s Medical Education Ministry had informed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that a decision in this regards has been taken by the government.
The Medical Education Ministry’s letter states, ‘Chemist who have valid license, and receive supply of TB drugs from Maharashtra government. From now onwards can, store and distribute free TB drugs to patients.’
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Joint Commissioner FDA, Arjun Khadtare said, “Only those chemists who have proper license from the FDA department, can stock and distribute free TB drugs to the patients. The state government will directly supply these TB drugs to the chemist shops. We have provided list of all registered chemist to the central government.”
Kailesh Tandale, President of the Maharashtra registered Pharmacy Association said, “The government has taken a decision to allow private chemist to distribute free TB drugs. But, while doing so, chemist will check all the necessary papers and then only, will distribute the medicines. Within the next two months we will be distributing free TB drugs to patients.”
While inaugurating the #EndTb India summit PM Modi had said that, team India will definitely work towards the TB eradication goal of 2025