Anti-tuberculosis drugs

What is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that is curable but still kills three people every minute. Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable. TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

About one-third of the world’s population has latent TB, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with disease and cannot transmit the disease. (WHO, 2012)

Who is affected?

TB remains one of the world’s top infectious killers. About 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and it is among the top three causes of death among women aged 15 to 44.

8.7 million people fell ill with TB in 2011, including 1.1 million cases among people with HIV. In 2011, 1.4 million people died from TB, including 430 000 among people who were HIV-positive.

TB is one of the top killers of women worldwide, half a million women died from TB in 2011. In 2011, there were an estimated 310 000 cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) among notified TB patients with pulmonary TB.

Tuberculosis in children

Up to 70 000 children died due to TB globally in 2011. Childhood TB is often overlooked by health providers and can be difficult to diagnosis and treat. There are about 10 million orphan children as a result of adult TB deaths. (WHO 2012)

Every year also in the WHO European Region, about 10 000 children (under 15 years of age) are reported as having TB. In Western Europe 41% of the 2761 children who fall sick with tuberculosis are younger than five years of age.

Diagnosis and treatment

The main tools for diagnosing TB are clinical assessment and bacteriological and radiological investigation. The examination of a sputum smear by microscopy is the simplest, cheapest and most direct way to identify the presence of TB bacteria and confirm pulmonary disease in 1–2 days. To evaluate drug susceptibility, however, the bacteria need to be cultivated and tested in a suitable laboratory for 6–16 weeks. This makes it possible to identify drug-resistant forms of TB. X-ray findings may indicate TB but usually need confirmation by other tests.

TB can usually be treated with a course of four standard (first-line) drugs. There is usually an intensive two-month phase of treatment with the use of all drugs, followed by a four-month continuation phase with only two. Because many people clearly do not finish a course of drugs, with negative consequences, the DOTS (directly observed treatment, short-course) strategy has been adopted, whereby a health worker carefully watches the patient take each dose. Direct observation of treatment intake and support to patients in different forms are recommended. patient takes treatment incorrectly or incompletely, resistance to TB drugs may develop and a cure becomes much more difficult, or impossible in some cases. 

Current Treatment and Resistance Issue

The number of MDR-TB cases notified in the 27 high MDR-TB burden countries doubled between 2009 and 2011, and reached about 60 000 worldwide. (WHO 2012). Good compliance and adherence to treatment is crucial for the patient to be cured. If patients terminate their treatment prematurely or are given low-quality medicines, there is the risk of severe relapse or death.

Tuberculosis in Europe & Switzerland

In Europe, this disease remains a serious public health threat. The World Health Organization estimates that drug-resistant tuberculosis is spreading at an “alarming rate” in Europe. Reported cases of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in the region tripled in 2009 in one year.

In the European Region alone, WHO estimates that TB causes 49 new cases and kills 7 people every hour. TB continues to pose a serious threat to individuals and public health. This does not have to be so. Timely prevention, diagnosis and treatment can control the spread of infection and treat and cure existing cases. WHO/Europe works with many partners to:

  • improve the monitoring and surveillance of TB and support the implementation of the Stop TB Strategy in the WHO European Region;
  • provide policy guidance and technical assistance to countries for effective TB control;
  • develop guidelines and protocols on TB diagnosis, treatment, prevention and care for programme managers, policy-makers,

In Switzerland people continue to get contaminated, usually elderly persons, persons suffering from a chronic disease, immigrants or healthcare professionals. Each year, around one hundred new cases are diagnosed – totaling to around 500 cases per year.

Labatec: a reliable partner for treating Tuberculosis

Labatec is working according to WHO standards, manufacturing high-quality first and second line Anti-TB drugs in Geneva, Switzerland. Labatec is actively working with international organizations to transform the fight against TB. Labatec is further building up and expanding its portfolio of anti-TB drugs.

Labatec is working as an active partner in the Stop TB partnership as well as with the GFATM (Global Fund to fight Aids Tuberculosis and Malaria) to supply high quality SRA and WHO approved medicines. Labatec is listed as an approved supplier to the UN agencies, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Global Drug Facility (GDF).

Labatec is in it for the long-term – TB needs committed private sector partner – Labatec is growing to be a key partner in the fight against TB globally.

There is hope: About 51 million TB patients have been successfully treated since 1995 worldwide. Up to 20 million lives have been saved since 1995 through DOTS and the Stop TB Strategy.

Our products : 

  • Isoniazid 100 and 200 mg
  • Ethambutol 100 and 400mg
  • Rifampicine 150 and 300 mg
  • Pyrazinamide 500 mg