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Delhi HC allows new drug administration to TB suffering Patna teen

  • The Delhi High Court allowed a teenaged patient from Patna to access the highly controlled Bedaquiline drug in Mumbai. The supply of this drug is supervised and has been rolled out only in six cities on a pilot basis. With this, five drug-resistant tuberculosis patients now have a ray of hope.

    The Patna teenager, suffering from extremely drug resistant (XDR) TB, moved to the court after she was denied Bedaquiline for not having domicile status in New Delhi, where the drug trial is being conducted. Besides Delhi, one hospital each in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Guwahati have started the trial.

    The Delhi High Court ordered that “domicile or residence of the patient is not a criterion in determining the eligibility for administration of Bedaquiline under conditional access programme in the respondent No.1 hospital, is taken on record”.

    Advocate Anand Grover, who fought the Patna girl’s case, said the writ petition has taken this on record, and it means that other patients will be benefited by the HC order. He further said, “We know of at least five such patients being helped by community organizations. They are from northeastern, eastern, southern and western States.”

    “The World Health Organization has also said that India is going slow in rolling out the drug, which has shown good results in South Africa. We should definitely not make patients wait like this,” Advocate Grover said.

    The Patna teenager is scheduled to arrive in Mumbai as soon as her quota of Bedaquiline is arranged for.

    “She is not keeping well. We will come to Mumbai only after the medicines arrive,” her father said. The court order states that the medicine should be handed over to KEM Hospital, which is running the drug trial in Mumbai at the Tuberculosis Hospital and Dr. Zarir Udwadia, the first one to recommend Bedaquline for the Patna girl, is in charge of administering the doses and monitoring the trial.


    OUR TAKE

    The decision of the Delhi High Court in the present matter was much needed lately. Earlier reports of the administration of the drug stated that unreasonable delay was being caused which was not in the interest of the patient. But certainly after this decision we can hope the best for the TB patients.


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