Novartis Extends TB Drug Donation to Tanzania

7 July 2009 (Last Updated July 7th, 2009 18:30)

Novartis Pharmaceuticals has announced the company will be extending the donation of tuberculosis (TB) drugs to Tanzania. Novartis delivered 250,000 TB treatments to Tanzania between 2005 and 2008, and has now commited to delivering a further 250,000 treatments over the next three to fou

Novartis Pharmaceuticals has announced the company will be extending the donation of tuberculosis (TB) drugs to Tanzania.

Novartis delivered 250,000 TB treatments to Tanzania between 2005 and 2008, and has now commited to delivering a further 250,000 treatments over the next three to four years.

The donation worth around $6m could treat around 60,000 patients a year.

Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development president and CEO Klaus M Leisinger said that addressing the health problems of the developing world is complex and challenging.

"To make a meaningful and sustainable impact for patients in the developing world, governments, international institutions, industry and civil society must join forces," Leisinger said.

TB is a complex disease to treat due to the emergence of multi-drug-resistant strains that occur when patients do not take the correct drug dosages for the full length of time.

To combat this the World Health Organization recommends a directly observed therapy short course, where patients take the treatment under direct daily observation by a medical professional.