Bengaluru man among select 400 to get life-saving Tuberculosis drug

Karnataka is one of the seven states in India to have been selected to get these precious drugs, each course of which costs Rs 2 lakh.

Published: 09th October 2018 09:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th October 2018 09:45 AM   |  A+A-

A nurse walks down a staircase after handing out medicines to patients at a tuberculosis hospital in Gauhati. | AP

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Life-saving Delamanid drug for Tuberculosis (TB), 400 doses of which were given to the Indian government by the Japanese government, saw its first use in Bengaluru recently in Malleswaram’s KC General Hospital.

“Karnataka is one of the seven states in India to have been selected to get these precious drugs, each course of which costs Rs 2 lakh,” said Dr Manjula, Joint Director, Tuberculosis, Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Currently the state has 120 doses of Delamanid and 500 doses of Bedaquilin, another drug for multi-drug resistant TB (MDRTB). Patients need to undergo strict screening to be considered eligible for the drug as the drug affects heart functioning, Manjula said.

The drug is being made available under the conditional access programme (CAP) of the Centre, and any drug resistant TB patient undergoing treatment in a private hospital is free to approach the state to be tested for treatment, Manjula added. In Karnataka, every year, around 1,000-1,500 MDR patients get diagnosed and out of which at least 80-100 patients report to have additional resistance to existing TB drugs.

“Karnataka is one of the well performing states, that is why it has been considered for the pilot project. Currently, eight patients are being given Bedaquiline while eight others are getting counselling done for Delamanid. Since the drug is extremely toxic, patients have to undergo liver function test and kidney function test. Since it affects cardiac functioning, they are constantly monitored for six months,” Manjula said.

Speaking about the patient, Dr Bhanumurthy MS, medical superintendent, KC General Hospital, said, “This is a patient who had a relapse of TB. He is in his late 20s.”


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