The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has launched Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis (TB) patients across the country under The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
Under it, Health Ministry is providing thrice weekly regimen for treatment of TB, however it has now decided to change treatment strategy for TB patients from thrice weekly to daily drug regimen using fixed dose combinations (FDC) for treatment. This change will bring transformation in approach and intensity to deal with this disease which accounts for about 4.2 lakh deaths every year.
The daily FDC anti-TB drugs will be made available to private pharmacy or at private practitioners to dispense to TB patients who seek care in private sector, depending upon convenience of patient and practitioner free of cost. Health Ministry will take this forward with all major hospitals, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and other professional medical associations to expand access to daily FDC to all TB patients.
This treatment strategy will use Ethambutol in continuation phase for all patients, drugs to be given daily (as against only 3 times weekly previously), fixed dose combination (FDC) tablets will be used to reduce pill burden (as against separate 7 tablets previously), for children, child friendly formulations as dispersible tablets. Moreover, use of Information Technology (IT) enabled treatment adherence support system will be also undertaken.
TB is bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that most often affect lungs. The disease is spread from person to person through the air. It commonly affects lungs but can also affect other parts of body. It is second biggest killer disease worldwide next only to HIV/AIDS. It can be completely cured with proper and regular medication.