Global Drug Facility reaches 16.5 million mark for tuberculosis treatments

6 May 2010 - Geneva - The Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility (GDF) has delivered 16.5 million anti-tuberculosis (TB) treatments since its creation in 2001. GDF's 13th Progress Report, published today, reports that some 2.4 million treatments were delivered in 2009 alone.

"GDF deserves congratulations for this outstanding achievement from all those committed to advancing the cause of global health," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership.

GDF provides grants of free high-quality adult and paediatric anti-TB medicines to countries unable, through government or alternate funding, to secure the finances needed to purchase them. It also provides direct procurement services and in 2009 saw considerable growth in procurement of adult anti-TB medicines. GDF also opened its paediatric medicines for direct procurement by interested countries in 2009.

In 2007, GDF began providing diagnostic kits through its direct procurement service. Since the initiation of this product line GDF has seen steady growth in this area. In 2009, 38 countries purchased anti-TB second line medicines through direct procurement, compared to 33 in 2008.

In 2009, UNITAID approved funding for a project to accelerate access to diagnostics for patients at risk of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in 27 countries. The EXPAND-TB (Expanding Access to New Diagnostics for TB) Project is a collaboration between the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI), the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and GDF.

"GDF's latest report shows it has matured into an unquestionably crucial player in the fight against TB, one which countries around the world are turning to more and more. No agency in the world has made a greater contribution to getting TB treatment to people in need. By working with and supporting the efforts of GDF, we believe our partners can continue to increase efficiency and harmonization," Dr Espinal said.

GDF has also announced its appointment of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH as Procurement Agent for anti-TB medicines. GTZ currently serves as GDF's Procurement Agent for new diagnostic equipment and products.

Link to GDF's Progress Report [.pdf]