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What Good is a Life Saving Drug if it Can't Save Lives?

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Sign our petition to fight high market prices on Bedaquiline, a life saving tuberculosis drug manufactured by Johnson and Johnson. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors without Borders) needs your voice in advocating for those without one. Unable to pay for Bedaquiline, tuberculosis patients are forced to endure older, more toxic TB drugs that risk their lives. Together, we can call out the poor business practices engaged by Johnson and Johnson and raise awareness for the necessity of a lower market price for Bedaquiline.

What is Bedaquiline?

  • New tuberculosis drug therapy used in replacement to older, more toxic TB treatments
    • One of four medicines needed for a treatment regimen for drug-resistant TB (DR-TB)
    • Approved in 2012 but new guidelines in 2019 widened scope of prescribing
  • MSF (DWB) teamed up with Johnson and Johnson to develop, create, and clinically test Bedaquiline
  • Current market price: $400 per six-month treatment course (Set by J&J and not approved by MSF)
    • Costs $45 to manufacture a 6 month supply

Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

  • Airborne acquired bacterial infection of the lungs
    • Symptoms include bloody cough, weight loss, difficulty breathing
    • TB bacteria destroys and attacks lung tissue and can spread to brain, liver, and other organs
  • Normal TB therapy is ineffective towards DR-TB
  • Previous to bedaquiline, treatments had detrimental effects to the body
    • Possible side effects- psychosis, deafness, blindness, death

What Now?

  • Not being able to afford bedaquiline, DR-TB patients are forced to endure previous, toxic treatments
  • MSF’s Call to Action:
    • Created an international coalition to lower cost of DR-TB to be $1 a day ($180 per 6 month supply)
    • Still can be profitable if even sold as $.25 a day

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