The Centre has decided to expand the availability of Bedaquiline, a drug used for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis, across the country.
The drug is currently available in five cities - Ahmedabad, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Guwahati.
As the drug has not undergone the phase-III trials, and has been documented to have serious adverse drug reactions, the National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) initiated its use in a limited number of centres.
Based on the limited use of the drug in these five cities, it has been decided to expand the availability in rest of the country. Country-wide training is being carried out to build capacity of other states, and the states are also being prepared to monitor the treatment of patients with Bedaquiline containing regimen.
At present, apart from the five cities, Bedaquiline can be made available under compassionate grounds across the country.
Compassionate grounds refers to the use of a drug outside of a clinical trial of an investigational medical product (that is one that has not been approved by drug controller or competent authority) and under this protocol, a medical practitioner can prescribe such medicine to the needy patients.