TB advocates hail price drop of key tests but say Big Pharma could do more to stop 'price gouging'
Every 20 seconds, someone dies of tuberculosis. But health advocates and experts are hoping that a newly announced reduction in the cost of testing for TB might change that.
On Tuesday, several TB-focused organizations announced a major victory, with multinational conglomerate Danaher reducing the cost of key tests for TB infection and resistance to a commonly used drug by 20 per cent.
This is the first time the cost of the tests has been reduced in more than 13 years, said Stijn Deborggraeve, diagnostics advisor for the Mdecins Sans Frontires Access Campaign.
According to a press release on the announcement from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, "five million additional tests can be procured with this lower price."
"I very much welcome Danaher's commitment, which should enable significantly expanded access to the communities most in need," said Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund, in the release.
"I'm very happy," said John Green, a New York Times best-selling author and viral YouTuber who has garnered a reputation as a philanthropist and TB advocate but he still sounded a cautious note.