Funder: TB Reach

For decades DRTB patients did not have access to new treatments and had to endure toxic drugs and even long-term injectables until the evaluation and registration of three novel drugs, namely Bedaquiline (B). Pretomanid (Pa) and Delamanid (D). THINK proudly contributed to the trials of all three. This also gave researchers and clinicians new tools in their arsenal to start forming newer, shorter, and less toxic regimens. First, taking us from 24 months down to 9 and now to 6 months with the recent WHO-recommended BPaL(M) regimens.

In 2021, Dr Suzanne Staples and Dr Munira Khan co-authored a practical implementation guide for use in the programmatic introduction of the BPaL regimen, with key contributions from Dr Pauline Howell (WITS Health Consortium), Sandeep Juneja and Aastha Gupta (TB Alliance), amongst others. This regimen, consisting of Bedaquiline, Pretomanid and Linezolid, is becoming increasingly accessible on a global scale for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis, and the guide is intended to assist countries in planning for BPaL implementation. The guide is available in English and Russian for broader use globally.

The development of this implementation guide was supported by the Stop TB Partnership’s TB REACH initiative and was funded by the Government of Canada, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development.

Dr Staples was also invited to present the guidelines at the Union World Conference on Lung Health in Oct 2021 as part of a workshop coordinated by KNCV.