Experts Stress on Introducing Shorter BPaL Regimen in India's TB Control Programme
16 Oct 2023 • In the fight against drug-resistant tuberculosis, the BPaL regimen which comprises three drugs - Bedaquiline, Pretomanid and Linezolid - offers hope for a shorter, safer, and more tolerable treatment option. It has a treatment duration of just 26 weeks, against the conventional treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis which can require patients to take over 4,000 to 5,000 tablets over 18 to 21 months.
The BPaL regimen, which has received recommendations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019 and World Health Organization (WHO) in 2022, has been rolled out in over 70 countries, including South Africa, Ukraine, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
A group of experts have stressed the need for introducing the BPaL regimen in the tuberculosis control programme of the country, saying it offers not only a significantly shorter treatment duration but has a direct impact on treatment adherence, leading to improved outcomes.
Highlighting the key advantages of the BPaL regimen, Dr Vikas Oswal, a National Technical Expert on tuberculosis, stated, "This new regimen offers not only a significantly shorter treatment duration but also a drastic reduction in the number of tablets patients need to take. This has a direct impact on treatment adherence, leading to improved outcomes. Cure rates after completing 26 weeks of treatment are expected to exceed 89 per cent, compared to the 60-65 per cent cure rate seen with strict adherence to the conventional drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment," Dr Oswal stated.
The experts urge the Indian government to prioritize the rollout of this regimen to help achieve the End TB goals by 2025.
Source: The Week | Read full story