Professor Hilary Thomas, Chief Medical Adviser and Yael Selfin, Head of Macroeconomics at KPMG comment on the fight against Tuberculosis (TB), on the World Health Organisation World TB day
Prof. Hilary Thomas says: “Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, with around third of the global population carrying the disease, and yet we have made little progress to date in finding an effective approach to manage this ancient problem.
“Multi-drug resistant TB is becoming a major issue. This is in part our incomplete understanding of it mode of action – and what causes it to reactivate to active infectious disease?
“Most of the two billion affected live in developing countries with limited resources and infrastructure to deliver the several month-long treatment courses required.
“Governments have a number of levers to encourage R&D including: funding initiatives to encourage collaboration and early-stage drug development; new pricing models to guarantee price and volume; and financial incentives such as tax breaks and fee waivers.
“Finding shorter, more-effective treatments for TB will require collaboration between governments, research institutes and regulators to provide the right environment for research and development in this area.
Yael Selfin comments on the economic impact of the spread of multidrug-resistant TB: “Research has modelled the impact of a future scenario where we experience a 40 percentage points increase in resistance to TB, and a doubling of infection rates, and the economic impact is not uniform across the world.
“Should resistance increase 40 percent and infection rates double, there would be an additional 76 million people dying prematurely due to multidrug resistant TB by 2050, with the majority of those deaths occurring in Asia and Africa. This could cause the gross domestic product (GDP) of low income countries to be 2.45% lower by 2050, compared with the base case, and 1.69% lower in Lower Middle Income countries.
“The cumulative worldwide loss in GDP could be US$16,767bn by 2050, (measured in US$ 2013) if the issue of multidrug resistant TB isn’t tackled, with some of the world’s poorest hardest hit.”
Ann Burton, KPMG Press Office
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