Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Spreads as $1.6 Billion Needed

Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Spreads as $1.6 Billion Needed

Low and middle-income countries need an additional $1.6 billion a year to fight tuberculosis, threatening progress made against the world’s second-deadliest infectious disease, health officials said.

About $3.2 billion will be spent annually through 2016 combating the disease in 118 such nations and $4.8 billion is needed, the World Health Organization and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said in a joint statement today. The additional funds may enable treatment for 17 million people and save 6 million lives from 2014 to 2016, they said.

Tuberculosis killed 1.4 million people in 2011, the two Geneva-based organizations said. Among infectious diseases, only AIDS killed more. While TB can be cured with antibiotics, strains of the bacterium that resist most drugs afflict about 630,000 people globally, threatening to undermine a target of halving the TB death rate between 1990 and 2015.

“If we don’t act now, our costs could skyrocket,” Mark Dybul, the Global Fund’s executive director, said in the statement. “It is invest now or pay forever.”

About $2.6 billion is needed annually to expand diagnosis and treatment of TB, of which about $2 billion was available in 2011, according to the statement. There’s also a shortfall of $800,000 for the treatment of multidrug-resistant TB, which will require the greatest funding increase in the next few years.

In a study published in August, almost half of TB patients who had received prior treatment were resistant to a second-line drug, suggesting the disease may become “virtually untreatable.”

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) won U.S. approval in December for its tuberculosis tablet Sirturo, the first new TB drug in 40 years. Otsuka Holdings Co. is also developing a new TB medicine.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simeon Bennett in Geneva at sbennett9@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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