The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership

The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership was created in 2003 to confront a disease so daunting that no single organization could fight it alone. This public/private initiative offers education, training, and improved care to people worldwide who have fallen victim to deadly multidrug-resistant TB. Working in more than 80 nations and with more than 20 partners, The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership has trained doctors and nurses to recognize, treat, monitor, and prevent the spread of multidrug-resistant TB. These healthcare professionals have raised awareness to reduce the stigma of the disease, promoted prevention, researched drugs to improve treatment, and advocated for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

When the partnership began its work in 2003, the WHO set a goal of treating 20,000 MDR-TB patients by 2010—a goal achieved ahead of schedule. We’re working now as part of an overall effort to meet a new target: treating a cumulative 800,000 MDR-TB patients by 2015. To learn more, visit Lilly's MDR TB website.

Working alongside international organizations, in-country TB programs, and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership has worked to:

  • Promote community support and patient advocacy,
  • Implement MDR-TB care and training programs and strengthen surveillance of drug resistance,
  • Transfer Lilly drug manufacturing technology to local pharmaceutical companies, and supply medicines at concessionary prices until local companies were qualified and approved to do so,
  • Facilitate research for new drug discovery, and
  • Collaborate with policy makers to raise awareness and prevent the spread of MDR-TB.

Next Phase: 2012-2016

In the coming years, the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation will assume funding responsibility for The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership. The Lilly Foundation has made a commitment of $30 million over five years to extend the Partnership’s efforts to fight multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Learn more.



Between 2003-2011, Lilly provided $135 million in cash, medicines, and technology:

$15M to The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative,

$50M for advocacy activities, community support and healthcare provider training, and

$70M for the transfer of MDR-TB drug manufacturing technology to generic producers in high-burden countries.


Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis

According to the World Health Organization, there are almost 9.4 million new cases of TB every year, of which approximately half a million are multidrug resistant. MDR-TB is highly contagious, and can be easily transmitted through the air. In 2008, the WHO reported the highest rates of MDR-TB ever recorded, with some locations in the former Soviet Union reporting up to 22 percent of all new TB cases to be MDR-TB.


Awards and Recognition

  • Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy Excellence Award in Corporate Philanthropy, 2009
  • Global Business Coalition Award for Excellence in Business Action, 2007 and 2010
  • International Chamber of Commerce and United Nations Development Programme, 2010 World Business and Development Award