The WHO released its Priority Pathogen Report in September, revising its guidelines to include TB, following an earlier release of the priority pathogen list for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that excluded it. The Union successfully campaigned alongside international organisations and civil society entities for WHO to revisit its decision.
The list, which outlined the drug-resistant bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed, was intended to guide the flow of research funding and set global priorities. By excluding TB from this list, The Union argued that WHO sent a false and misleading message about the urgency of drug-resistant strains of TB, which account for over 25 percent of all AMR-related deaths.
When it comes to facing the TB challenge, we cannot overstate the urgent need to increase R&D. The antibiotics we have for curing TB are becoming less and less effective, and right now we don’t have enough new drug candidates lined up that could potentially replace them. TB needs new research funding and needs it now.