Bedaquiline Treatment Reaches 200 Patients in Georgia

Georgia is one of the first countries to benefit from the USAID‑Janssen Therapeutics bedaquiline (BDQ) donation program. Along with delamanid, BDQ is one of only two new TB medicines released to the market in over 40 years. These medicines are being used for the treatment of MDR-TB patients, as well as TB patients who have experienced life-altering side effects or developed intolerance or resistance to some second-line TB drugs. Medicines donated through the program arrived in the country in the summer of 2015. And, as of May 31, 2016, there are 200 patients on BDQ. The USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, implemented by Management Sciences for Health, provided support to Georgia to offer these medicines to TB patients.

SIAPS has been providing technical assistance in Georgia to implement active drug safety monitoring (aDSM). This has included acting as secretariat of the aDSM Working Group, which consists of all stakeholders in TB control, facilitating coordination meetings, and providing expertise in aDSM implementation. SIAPS also supports the National Center for TB and Lung Diseases (NCTBLD) in developing the capacity of health professionals in ADR clinical management, recording, and reporting. SIAPS also supports the NCTBLD in implementing the web-based Pharmacovigilance Monitoring System (PViMS) developed by SIAPS, which will enable the National TB Program to monitor the safety and effectiveness of medicines.

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