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TB institute warns against use of new drug (Relevant for GS Prelims and GS Mains Paper III)

Drug resistant TB
Uncertainty continues to shroud the fate of 18-year-old girl suffering from Extreme Drug Resistant (XDR) Tuberculosis who is waiting for the drug Bedaquiline (BDQ). The National Institute of Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases (NITRD) told the Delhi High Court that the drug could not be administered without proper tests as it might lead to the TB-causing bacteria becoming further drug resistant and may spread to the community and have catastrophic effects.

View of TB patient's family
Father of the girl, who claimed that BDQ, manufactured by U.S. pharma major, Janssen Pharmaceutica, was the only option to save his daughter.
The court had asked the NITRD whether the patient could be administered BDQ without further tests. BDQ is available through limited sources in India, one of which is the NITRD in Delhi.

The NITRD said: “If BDQ is given with an inefficient backbone regimen, the patient is likely to fail the treatment and develop an additional and fatal resistance to BDQ which may spread to the community and have catastrophic effects.”

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