The Indian government has decided to launch a daily drug regimen for treating tuberculosis. This will usurp the existing alternate days schedule.

In the initial phase, this is likely to be implemented in five states that include Maharashtra. It’s expected that the launch will happen by September-October of this year.The process is expected to improve the treatment adherence and also minimize the relapse rate.

As per what Dr Sunil kharparde, the deputy director general of central TB division in the Union ministry of health and family welfare told the newspaper, the Times of India, the process will be launched in Maharashtra, Bihar, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

He said that WHO has been suggesting daily regimen for long-this because the relapse rate with this regimen is significantly lower at 5% as opposed to the 10% with the intermittent regimen. The daily regimen will be more expensive but cost effective in the long run. Also, it will bring down the mortality rate.

Dr.Khaparde also said that under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme(RNTCP), a new drug- Bedaquiline has been introduced to treat multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis(MDR-TB). This is expected to bring down the mortality rate by 50%. However, in order to avoid misuse, the drug will be restricted to the government sector, he said.

For MDR-TB, the government is also thinking of switching to short course therapy of nine months.

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