Tuberculosis Partnership

 

Tuberculosis, often thought of as a disease of the past, continues to plague the world’s most vulnerable populations.

A preventable and curable disease, it is also one of the most contagious, especially when left untreated, under-treated or undiagnosed. Particularly deadly to those with weakened immune systems, TB claimed the lives of approximately 1.5 million people in 2013.

TB that is only partially treated or treated using poor-quality or improperly prescribed medication can lead to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), an even more virulent and deadly form of TB with an intensive treatment regimen lasting up to two years. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2025, as many as 2 million people worldwide will be diagnosed with MDR-TB.

  • Key Facts on Tuberculosis
  • The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership



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TB cannot be eliminated by medicine alone. A comprehensive strategy is needed to address multiple social, economic and medical issues simultaneously. That’s why we are partnering with leading global health organizations to find new comprehensive approaches.

In 2003, we launched the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership to help address the rising burden of MDR-TB. At the center of this partnership was a technology transfer for two antibiotics we previously manufactured that have proven to be part of the last line of defense for hard-to-treat TB. We gave away our manufacturing know-how for these two medicines to seven manufacturers in high-burden TB countries to increase local availability of these two antibiotics at lower costs.

 

 

The award-winning partnership has grown to be our largest philanthropic effort—a $170 million commitment from 2003-2016. Through it we have worked with our partners to elevate TB to the global stage, increase prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and fund early discovery efforts for desperately needed new TB medicines.

In 2011, the Lilly Foundation funded the third phase of the partnership for $30 million over five years, from 2012-2016. During this phase, we are focusing our efforts on four high-burden countries—China, India, Russia and South Africa—and two key areas of focus:

  • Training and building capacity for healthcare providers, including nurses, doctors and pharmacists, as well as informal caregivers, such as community volunteers
  • Improving the supply of and access to quality-assured medicines

By focusing our geographic reach and using the Research, Report and Advocate framework, we believe we can have a greater impact at the local level while identifying new solutions that can be scaled up and replicated around the world.

Though progress is slower than anyone would like, we are making important strides. Much work remains to be done.

For more information on our tuberculosis partnership, visit lillyglobalhealth.com

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