MSF call for cap for MDR-TB drug costs: only 180 people use delamanid over two years

MSF press release

On 24 February 2016, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported in a press release that more than two years after the approval of the new TB drug delamanid, only 180 people globally have used it, due to the high cost. [1]

Delamanid is one of only two new TB drug to be approved in the last 50 years, and is effective against multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB.

Delamanid needs to be taken with other drugs to treat drug-resistant TB. These regimens, without delamanid, cost between $1,000 – $4,500 per course at the lowest prices available to developing countries. Otsuka, the manufacturer of delamamid, said that it would charge some developing countries US $1,700 per treatment course. [2]

To date, Otsuka has registered delamanid in only four countries (Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom), none of which has a high burden of DR-TB.

MSF demand that the company register delamanid in high DR-TB burden countries and in countries where clinical trials for the drug took place.

To help with widespread scale up of DR-TB treatment, MSF is advocating for a target price of $500 per treatment course for drug-resistant TB.

Dr. Grania Brigden, TB Advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign said: “delamanid is neither affordable nor available in most countries today. The price […] needs to come down to an affordable level […] If people can’t access delamanid, this promising new drug will be effectively worthless.”


  1. MSF press release. Developing countries hit with high price for important new tuberculosis drug: More than two years after drug approved, only 180 people globally have received it
  2. DR-TB drug regimen prices are from the forthcoming MSF publication, DR-TB Drugs Under the Microscope, 4th Edition, March 2016.

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