Stop TB Partnership

DR-TB Scale-up Treatment Action Team (STAT)


25 June 2015 - In March 2015, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership, SWIFT Response Project, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Treatment Action Group (TAG) and 84 other organisations issued a call to action urging global health actors and the TB community to form a consortium with the objective of meeting time-bound, concrete targets for scaling up use of new drugs in DR-TB treatment.

link: https://www.msfaccess.org/content/call-action-accelerate-access-dr-tb-drugs

In response, World Health Organization (WHO) put the proposal on the agenda for the Global Drug-resistant TB Initiative (GDI) meeting in April, which was the catalyst to set up a DRTB Scale-Up Treatment Action Team (DR-TB STAT) consisting of key global TB organisations, including civil society representatives. This Action Team has applied to become a task force within the GDI and the targets remain the same as outlined in the call to action, including:

  • Quickstart access to new drugs - Ensure at least 500 patients are started on regimens that include bedaquiline by July 2015, and at least 500 patients are started on regimens that include delamanid by January 2016 as a way of demonstrating tangible commitment to getting drugs to patients as larger scale-up efforts are planned.
  • Optimise DR-TB treatment - Provide technical assistance for implementation plans for the top 25 endemic countries by 2016, ensure the two new TB drugs are part of routine treatment in 20 countries by the end of 2016 and 52 countries by the end of 2019 and ensure that key re-purposed drugs are in use by the national TB programmes.
  • Prioritise regulatory approvals - Ensure that the two new drugs have been filed for registration in 25 countries by the beginning of 2016 and 52 countries by 2017, and that the drugs are registered for use, or import waivers are in place, by 2016.

While the submission to become part of the GDI is ongoing, the first call of this action team, hosted by MSF/PIH, took place in early June. The core participants of the action team are CHAI, Global fund, GDI, Global drug facility, KNCV, MSF, National department of health South Africa, PIH, SWIFT, Stop TB partnership, TAG, USAID, WHO Global TB programme and civil society representatives. The first call discussed a country-focused approach to meeting the targets. The aim is to highlight the specific barriers to drug access for the countries being reviewed monthly, and for members of the action team to work together with the countries to ensure that these barriers are overcome, so that the new medicines, including accompanying drugs needed for the full regimens, can be made available in the countries requesting them. The task force will be reporting back on its progress at the Executive Board meeting of the STBP in Cape Town in December.