by R. Bate, P. Jensen, K. Hess et al.
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis; e-publication ahead of print – 14 January 2013
New research shows that substandard and falsified tuberculosis medicines are widely used and likely contribute to the rise in drug-resistant strains of the disease. The authors tested 716 samples of isoniazid and rifampicin, which comprise a standard TB treatment regimen. The samples were purchased from pharmacies in 17 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Across all countries, 9.1% of samples were substandard or falsified. In African countries, one in six samples – 16.6% – were substandard or falsified. As long as substandard tuberculosis drugs are permitted in the marketplace, people will continue to die in pursuit of a cure. And without a coordinated response, growing resistance will eventually render even the highest quality drugs obsolete.