The Indian government plans to establish a laboratory network to increase the detection of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis cases nationwide, the trade publication PharmaBiz.com reports.
According to an official, India under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Plan will establish in phases a nationwide network of state-level culture and drug-sensitivity facilities, called intermediate reference laboratories.
The country aims to have one IRL in each large state between 2009 and 2010, the official said. Two IRLs already have been established in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The country also plans to provide people living with MDR-TB with access to no-cost treatment. Treatment will be available at DOTS-Plus centers, at least one of which will be located in each state. The DOTS-Plus centers will have the capability to provide ambulatory care after initial periods of in-patient care, according to PharmaBiz.com. About 25 DOTS-Plus centers will be established in phases, and they will be linked with IRLs.
The government estimates that the cost of providing MDR-TB treatment will be about 140,000 Indian rupees -- or about $3,000 -- per person. MDR-TB treatment regimens will include standard second-line drugs under DOTS-Plus guidelines after the IRLs have been established, PharmaBiz.com reports.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation