Tu­ber­cu­lo­sis war chest gets one more weapon

Weekly Trust - - Health - Judd-Leonard Okafor

The ar­se­nal for treat­ing child­hood tu­ber­cu­lo­sis is set to get broader with the pos­si­ble in­tro­duc­tion of yet an­other anti-TB med­i­ca­tion.

Iso­ni­azid, made by Ukrainian drug maker YURiA-Pharm is ex­pected for­mally pre­sented on the Nige­rian mar­ket this Oc­to­ber by a com­bi­na­tion of Nige­rian health au­thor­i­ties and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the drug maker.

The drug, named af­ter its ac­tive in­gre­di­ent, is de­scribed as a “pae­di­atric friendly” syrup for use in chil­dren with com­pli­ca­tions from BCG vac­ci­na­tion and those who have been in con­tact with TB pa­tients. The ac­tive in­gre­di­ents has been around as tablets be­fore now.

This reach out to pri­vate sec­tor is sig­nif­i­cant to TB treat­ment in Nige­ria, says Ade­bola Lawan­son, na­tional co­or­di­na­tor of the Na­tional Tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and Le­prosy Con­trol Pro­gramme.

“Ex­cept for an­cil­liary medicine, which are al­lowed to pro­vided in the coun­try, the drugs for TB, be­cause of the emer­gence of drug-re­sis­tant TB, we don’t buy lo­cally made drugs to treat it,” said Lawan­son in a state­ment.

“Even the drugs to treat the un­com­pli­cated TB…we get from an ac­cred­ited source. The essence is to have qual­ity as­sured medicine be­cause of the risk of us­ing medicine from all sorts of places that can lead to dru­gre­sis­tant TB which is the most dan­ger­ous one that has higher mor­tal­ity.”

Nige­ria doesn’t pro­duce TB drugs. It buys from the Global Drug Fa­cil­ity. Pri­vate sec­tor bankrolling the pur­chase will not come at a ne­go­ti­ated price.

“We want a ne­go­ti­ated price that will en­able us treat more pa­tients with lease amount of re­sources,” said Lawan­son.

Iso­ni­azid will be only one of few for­mu­la­tions for TB treat­ment, but the drug maker be­hind the project plans to “build a plant in Nige­ria,” said Cliff Ogbede, chief ex­ec­u­tive at the Nige­rian phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal firm Kleef & Helixor, which is YURiA’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Nige­ria.

He said hav­ing plant in the coun­try “will en­able us to sat­isfy the lo­cal mar­ket, im­prove the health of TB pa­tients in Nige­ria and equally ex­port to the neigh­bour­ing coun­tries within the re­gion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.