UN agrees global plan to battle TB ahead of first-ever summit

September 14, 2018
A scientist in France manipulates Koch's bacillus, responsible for tuberculosis, which world leaders will commit to end by 2030, at the first-ever TB summit

UN member-states on Friday agreed on a global plan to step up the fight against tuberculosis, the world's number one killer among infectious diseases, settling a row with the United States over access to cheap drugs.

Following weeks of tough negotiations, the text of a final declaration won approval and will be formally adopted at the first-ever TB summit on September 26, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

In July, South Africa clashed with the United States over proposals to water down language recognizing the right of poorer countries to access cheaper medicines.

The contested language referred to the so-called TRIPS trade arrangements dealing with . A compromise was reached that strengthened references to TRIPS.

Medical charity MSF had backed South Africa's stance and urged countries to resist what it described as an "aggressive push" by the US pharmaceutical lobby to restrict access to low-cost drugs.

At the summit world leaders will commit to end the epidemic by 2030 and come up with $13 billion annually to achieve that goal, according to the 53-point final declaration.

An additional $2 billion will be spent globally to fund tuberculosis research—up from $700 million currently.

MSF policy advisor Sharonann Lynch said the final declaration was an improvement from the first draft, but added that world leaders must turn up at the summit.

"Heads of state have to show up at the UN high-level meeting on TB and exercise their rights to protect public health over drug company profits and scale up effective and affordable, generic versions of expensive patented drug-resistant TB medicines," said Lynch.

Last year, the World Health Organization sounded the alarm when it said tuberculosis had surpassed HIV/AIDS as the world's number one infectious killer and was the ninth cause of death worldwide.

About 1.7 million people died from TB in 2016 out of 10.4 million worldwide who became ill from the severe lung infection, according to the WHO.

Five countries are the hardest-hit by the TB pandemic: India, which accounts for a quarter of cases, Indonesia, China, the Philippines and Pakistan.

Explore further: UN summit on TB seeks to put spotlight on killer disease

Related Stories

UN summit on TB seeks to put spotlight on killer disease

August 24, 2018
It's the world's number one killer among infectious diseases, but tuberculosis has been eclipsed by HIV/AIDS as a focus of global attention and donor funding.

Global AIDS, TB fight needs more money: health fund

September 12, 2018
The fight against epidemics such as AIDS and tuberculosis needs greater funding and cooperation in order to wipe out the diseases, a leading aid group said Wednesday.

Hope rises for a world free of TB

March 21, 2018
World TB Day 2018 is turning out to be special —never in the history of tuberculosis (TB) control has there been greater political attention and commitment to tackling the infectious disease that causes nearly two million ...

Multidrug-resistant TB set to increase through 2040

May 11, 2017
(HealthDay)—Multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis are expected to increase through 2040, according to a study published online May 9 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

S.Africa tackles drugs patent reform

September 9, 2013
South Africa's government has published a draft intellectual property policy with potential far-reaching effects for pharmaceutical patents, which rights groups hailed Monday as a move towards lower medicine costs.

Tuberculosis epidemic larger than previously thought

October 13, 2016
The tuberculosis epidemic is larger than previously thought, infecting 10.4 million people last year, while research into vaccines and cures is "severely underfunded," the World Health Organization warned on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Zika may hijack mother-fetus immunity route

November 14, 2018
To cross the placenta, Zika virus may hijack the route by which acquired immunity is transferred from mother to fetus, new research suggests.

Maternally acquired Zika immunity can increase dengue disease severity in mouse pups

November 14, 2018
To say that the immune system is complex is an understatement: an immune response protective in one context can turn deadly over time, as evidenced by numerous epidemiological studies on dengue infection, spanning multiple ...

Discovery suggests new route to fight infection, disease

November 14, 2018
New research reveals how a single protein interferes with the immune system when exposed to the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease, findings that could have broad implications for development of medicines to fight ...

New research aims to help improve uptake of hepatitis C testing

November 14, 2018
New research published in Scientific Reports shows persisting fears about HIV infection may impact testing uptake for the hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

Synthetic DNA-delivered antibodies protect against Ebola in preclinical studies

November 13, 2018
Scientists at The Wistar Institute and collaborators have successfully engineered novel DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (DMAbs) targeting Zaire Ebolavirus that were effective in preclinical models. Study results, published ...

Scientists illuminate causes of hepatitis B virus-associated acute liver failure

November 13, 2018
National Institutes of Health scientists and their collaborators found that hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated acute liver failure (ALF)—a rare condition that can turn fatal within days without liver transplantation—results ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.