Published on January 16, 2015
Global drug-resistant TB crisis demands mass mobilisation and new treatments Tuberculosis is one of the gravest public health threats facing the world today, and is all the more serious as drug resistance takes a grip. Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease, but an inadequate global response has allowed the growing epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) to take hold. Drug-resistant forms of TB are much harder to cure: standard TB drugs don’t work, and doctors must turn to long, arduous, complex and expensive treatment regimens that only cure half the patients at best. DR-TB originally developed because of improper use of anti-TB medicines, and now these deadlier DR-TB strains are spreading from person to person, even to people who’ve never had TB before. Today there are nearly half a million new cases of multidrug-resistant TB a year, with drug-resistant forms of TB reported in virtually all countries worldwide.