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UNITAID Chair appeals for publicly funded research to defeat TB

GENEVA, 24 March - UNITAID's Chair Philippe Douste-Blazy has appealed for more public funding of research to help defeat tuberculosis, a disease which kills 1.5 million people every year.

"Left to their own devices, market forces will not deliver the solutions that the world needs," Dr Douste-Blazy said in an article in the Guardian published on World TB Day. "The international community must do more to support public funding of research. Their support can play a catalytic role in helping to defeat this ancient scourge, which is still one of the most lethal infectious diseases."

Dr Douste-Blazy also said that resistance to TB medicines threatens to stall, or even to reverse, progress in the fight against the disease unless shorter, more effective treatment regimens were introduced.

"If left unchecked, these trends could derail plans to cut TB deaths by 95% in the next 20 years, as enshrined in the World Health Organisation’s global strategy," said Dr Douste-Blazy.

Calling for innovative ideas to help change the trajectory of the pandemic, he concluded: "We can make it happen together, working with the private and public sector. We can turn the tide against tuberculosis."

Below is a link to the full text of the article:

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/mar/24/pills-treat-tb-research-multi-drug-resistant-tuberculosis